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31 188000^72080b 


The Library 


DA 880. RS J4 V.l 

Jeffrey, Alexander, 1S06-1S74 
The history and antiquities 
of Roxburghshire and 
adjacent districts, from the 
most remote period to the 

rr^rii' Mir 


Date due 














&eom& ©m'tion. 

VOL. I. 





The design of the present Work is to convey to the public, 
within a reasonable compass, all the information I have been 
enabled to gather, during a period of twenty-five years, in 
relation to the History and Antiquities of Roxburghshire 
and adjacent Districts. Since the publication of the First 
Edition, in 1836, the Work has been entirely re- written, 
and, with the exception of a small portion of the descriptions 
of the Abbeys in Teviotdale, no part of the Contents of the 
present Volume were included in that edition. It may, there- 
fore, with truth, be stated to be an entirely New Work. No 
pains have been spared by me to obtain correct information 
in regard to the subjects treated of. Added to the know- 
ledge which a long residence in the district necessarily gives, 
I have specially visited every spot of interest, and examined 
for myself all the remains of a bye-gone age within the 
localities referred to. The works of all those who have 
previously laboured in the same field I have carefully con- 
sulted, and, while making a free use of their views when I 
thought them right, I have not scrupled to express an oppo- 
site opinion when I thought they had been led into error. 
Notwithstanding I have done all that I could to render the 
Work accurate, errors will, no doubt, be found on perusal, 
but it is to be trusted these will be few and unimportant. 


To the Rev. James Duncan, Denholm, I am indebted for 
the Chapter on the Geology of the District, and who, I am 
happy to be able to say, contributes the Botanical and Zoo- 
logical Chapters in Volume II. 

Jedburgh, January, 185.5. 





The District is the Southmost Division of Scotland. Lies in Centre 
of British Island. By what Counties Bounded. Its Form. Its 
Outline. The Line of the Boundary. Its Length and Breadth. 
Its Political Divisions. The Declination of the District. The 
Mountain Ranges which enclose Teviotdale. The Waters which 
Drain this District. The General Appearance of the District 
from the Summit of the Dunion. The Hill lies in the tract of 
Red Sandstone. The Climate of the District, ------ 9 



The Cheviot Range. Cheviot Mountain. Its Commanding Posi- 
tion. Chillhill. Hounamlaw. Their Situation and Qualities. 
The Mountains on the Bowmont and Cayle. The Mountains 
at the Source of the Jed. On the March between Dumfries 
and Roxburgh. The height of these Mountains, and General 
Appearance. The Range of Mountains which divide Teviotdale 
and Liddesdale. Pass through the Mountains at Mosspaul. Its 
Beauty. Peculiar Feature of the Hills of the Cheviot Range. 
Mountains and Hills in the Interior of Teviotdale. Dunion, its 
Name and Appearance. Was a Watch Tower in the Early Days. 
Penielheugh, its Appearance and Position. Its Name. Enchant- 
ing Prospect from its Summit. Monument to Wellington, and 
British Troops on its top. Ruberslaw, its Height and Situation. 
Snow Storm on it, supposed to have suggested to the Poet 
Thomson the idea of his Poem of Winter. Peden and Welsh 
Preached on its sides. Minto Craigs, their Appearance and 



Height. Bnrnhill's Bed. Minto Hills. Mountains in the Nor- 
thern part of Teviotdale. The Eildons Three. The Appearance 
and Character of these Hills. Blackhill, the British Arysildun. 
Bemerside Hill. Williamlaw, between Leader and Gala. No- 
tices of that District. Contests of the Swineherds. Other Hills 
worthy of notice, on account of their preservation of Name. Ge- 
neral Observations on the Cheviot Hills, }H 



Primside, and Linton Lochs. Stratum of Marl in the latter. Hose- 
law Loch. Locality famed as being Scene of the Exploit of the 
First of the Somervilles. Cauldshiels, near Abbotsford. Huntly 
Burn rises from it. Whitmuir Loch, on the bounds of Selkirk- 
shire. The Rivers and Streams. The Tweed. From whence 
it derives its name. Place where it enters the District. The 
Length of its Course within the District. Scenery on the River 
where it passes Abbotsford. The Tweed at Bridgend. The place 
where Father Philip crossed with the Lady of Avenel. Places 
and Scenery on the River Course within the District. The Sal- 
mon Fishings in the River. The Statute regulating the Tweed 
Fishings. The River Tkviot, its Rise and Name. Places and 
Scenery on its course. It is visited by Salmon and Trout. The 
Scottish Lyrists, by whom River and Scenery are noticed. The 
Cavle. Origin of its Name, Scenery, and Localities in its 
course. Observations on its Running Westward. Conical Mounts 
at Linton Kirk and Linton Loch. Theory as to their Formation, 
and also as to the Course of the River. Ox nam, its Source, 
Course, and Scenery through which it passes. The Henwood. 
Rattling Roaring Willie. The Jed. From whence Name de- 
rived. Its Source. Scenery on its Banks as it passes Mossburn- 
ford, Lintalee, ami Jedburgh. Caves. The Nature of the 
Channel of the Jed. lis Passage through the Old Red Sandstone 
Formation. Salmon and Trout. The Reason of the Scarcity of 
Trout. The Rule, its Name, Source, and Course. Sl:trig. 
Observations as to the Etymology of the Name. Hawick Flood 
tn 1761. The Tradition of the District in regard to the Flood. 
Flood in 1846. The Allan. Its Source and Name. The 
Proximity of the Sources of the Rivers which Rise in the Sou- 
thern Mountains to each other. Tributaries of the Teviot on the 
North. The Borthwick. Its Source and Name. The Ale. 
Its Rise and Name. Its Course by Riddell, Linthill, and Cavers. 



Beaut} of its Banks between Ashyburn and Ancrum. Caves. 
Superstitions of the District as to the Lake from which River 
takes its Rise. Poets who have sung of Ale. The Bowmom. 
Its Sources and Course. Observations as to the Origin of the 
Name. The Eden. Etymology of the Name. Its Course. The 
Leader. Rises in the Soltra, and its Course by Earlston and 
Cowdenknowes. Remarks on the Derivation of the Name. 
Notices of Thomas the Rhymer, who lived on its Banks. The 
Alwyx. Its Rise and Name. The Valley of the River is 
thought to be the Glendearg of the Monastery. The Gala. Its 
Source, and Origin of the Name. The Liddel. Its Rise, 
Course, and Observations on its Name. Armstrong the Poet, a 
Native of its banks. The Hermitage. Its Rise and Scenery 
on its Banks. Kershope. The Ancient Boundary between 
England and Scotland. Other Smaller Stre tms and Burns. 
The Goblin-Brook or Bogleburn. Woodenburn. Fljodofl7S2 
—of 1797, which carried away Kelso Bridge. The Teviot Stop- 
ping in its Course. The Changes which have taken place in the 
District, deduced from the State of Communication with each 
side of the Rivers of the District. Observations thereon. Acci- 
dent at Melrose Ferry about 1735. The Bridges on the Rivers. 
The Fords of the Rivers. Number of Corn Mills on these 
Streams in ancient times. The Springs of the District. Chaly- 
beate and Sulphureous. Consecrated Wells. Springs around 
Melrose and Jedburgh, ---- .....28 



It was Originally covered with Woods and Lochs. Evidence derived 
from Ancient Historians. From Trees found in the Mosses. 
From Medals and Coins of Romans found buried below Moss in 
a fertile soil. Jedburgh Forest. Jed derives its Name from its 
Woods. Woody state shewn from the Names of Places on Jed 
and Rule. In the Oxnam District. On the Cayle. On the 
Teviot. In Names of Places in the District between Leader and 
Gala. In Liddesdale, from names there. From Articles found in 
Mosses, Marshes, and Lochs. From Evidence derived from 
Charters. The introduction of Coal into the District. The 
Boggy state of Kingdom proved from Names of Places. The 
Names of Places also instruct the kind of Animals which roamed 
in it. Tradition as to these. Remains of Animals found in 
District. 83 





The Divisions of Scotland in reference to its Geology. Observations 96 
thereon. The External Aspect of the District viewed in refer- 
ence to its Geology. Form of the Grey wacke Hills. The Insulated 
Heights are generally Trap. Greywacke the most extensive 
Deposits of the District. Parts of the District which it Occupies. 
What is Comprehended under Greywacke. Modifications in 
its Character. It is Uniform in the District. Its Colour. Where 
the Greywacke and the Red Sandstone Meet. The Clayslate. 
Its Composition and Colour. Colour at Rink near Edgerston. 
Stratification. Dip. Examples of these. The Strata of the 
Greywacke forms the Summit of the High Ridges on the Sources 
oftheTeviot. Flexures and Contortions Exhibited by it. Sup- 
posed Cause of these. Minerals in Connexion with this Forma- 
tion. Calcareous Spar and Quartz. Character of these. This 
Formation Poor in Organic Remains. Where Remains are 
Found. The Pebbles in Bed of Teviot are chiefly Greywacke. 
The " Silver Tide" of Teviot arises from Running over Grey- 
wacke. The Rock of this Formation used as Road Metal and 
Building. Its Character for these Purposes. The Old Red 
Sandstone Formation. Where the Conglomerate is seen. It 
Presents itself in Huge Masses. The Materials of the Aggrega- 
tions where Derived from. The Character of the Old Red Sand- 
stone at its greatest Depth. Examples of the Modification of 
the Rock in the Banks of the Jed, Rule, and Ale. Uniformity 
of the Character of the Strata. Fissures and Slips in. Some- 
times the Strata occurs in Elongated Curves. In Jed above 
Fernihirst, and on the Road to Hunthill. Origin of this. The 
Colouring Matter of the Formation. The Light Coloured Beds are 
at the Top. Examples of these. Quarries at Belses, Lanton, 
and Denholm. Character of the Quarries at the latter place. 
White and Red Sandstone at that place. Organic Remains 
in this Formation: Molluscs, Crustacea, Reptiles, and Fishes. 
The Winged Fish, Pterichthys, and the Holoptychius are 
found In this Formation of the District. Description of the 
Animals. Examples of these. The Dentband, the Chief Repo-. 
sitory of these Iclithyolitic Remains. Examples of these Dent- 
bands— are the Pterichthys or Holoptychii, as general Distinc- 
tive of the Lower and Upper Beds of the Formation ? Remains 
of Vegetables numerous. Examples of these. Vegetable Re- 
mains found in Denholmhill Quarry. Observations on these 



Remains. Proofs afforded by these Remains Identifies the For- 96 
■nation with the Old Red Sandstone. Coal cannot be expected 
to be found in the District. The Reason Why. Do the Remains 
of the Holoptychius themselves determine the Formation ? 
Upper Beds of the Old Red Sandstone constitute the principal 
Building Stone in the District. Character as a Building Stone. 
Examples of Limestone found in the Formation. Where they 
ure so Found. Character of the Scenery as far as it Depends on 
this Formation. Observations thereon. Of the Two Portions of 
the Coal Formation found in the District. What these Consist 
of, and their Situations. Character of the Fossils indicate the 
Nature of the Formation. The Sandstones Composing this 
Formation — are peculiar to the Coal Sandstones. Where found, 
and the Character of these Stones for Building purposes. Ob- 
servations on the Strata as it appeal's in Liddesdale. Limestones 
of Larieston. Jaspers of Robertslinn. The Dip of these Strata. 
The Porphyries, Trap-Tufas, and Trap. Where Porphy- 
ry Strata occur? The most extensive Formation of it Forms 
the Cheviot Range proper. It meets the Old Red Sandstone at 
Morebattle. Description of the Rock. Summary of the most 
Important Varieties of the Rock, and where they are to be 
found. Their general Direction. Effect or Character of the 
Scenery similar to the Trap Rocks— generally form Conical 
Hills — Insulated or Grouped — never Abrupt. The Eildon Hills 
have been projected up through the Greywacke. Character of 
the Rock. They consist chiefly of Brown or Reddish Felspar — 
disseminated Crystals of Felspar and Minute Crystals of Quartz 
and Hornblende. Quarry above Bowden exhibit Beautiful Flesh- 
Coloured Columns— 30 and 40, feet in length— Columns nearly 
Vertical. Porphyry is also Developed in the Southmost portion of 
the District. It is to be seen in the Wisphill, and in the Banks 
of Stream at Mosspaul. Its appearance. Trap-Tufa: What 
is it? Where it occurs. A good Example of Tufa afforded by 
Minto Hills. Commonly associated with Augitic Trap, as at 
Troneyhill and Ruberslaw. Another variety seen at Ancrum 
Craig. The Trap proper is an Important Member of the Rocks 
of the District. Character of the Rock as found in the District. 
Where it is found. In Lower Base of the Teviot, Penielheugh is 
the principal elevation formed by it. The majority of the Sum- 
mits in that of the District formed of it. Where Clinkstone 
occurs. It is to be seen at Timpendean behind the Old Tower. 
Dykes of Greenstone are frequent in the Coal Strata of Liddes- 
dale. Not so in other parts of the District. Remarkable Belt of 



Greenstone divides the District into Two equal Halves. It enters 
the County at Upper Hyndhope, and leaves it about Roberton. 
It traverses all the variety of Formation the District contains. 
Its Character. Remarks on this Geological Phenomenon. Illus- 
trations of the Relations in which the Rocks described stand to 
each other. The Alluvial Accumulations: The Boulder 
Clay exists in the lower part of the District. Most developed in 
the Northern parts. Seen on the Banks of the Leader. Is ex- 
posed at Sprouston Quarry. The most extensive Newer Alluvial 
Deposits are on the.East side of Eildon. To be seen on Tweed at 
Kelso, and occurs on the Teviot. In the Valley of Teviot above 
Ancrum Bridge. Deposits of Sand and Gravel. Remarkable 
Deposit of this kind at Liddelbank. Some Ridges are to be 
found at Kelso and Stitchel. One composed of Gravel, between 
Ormiston and Eckford. Superficial accumulations of Boulders in 
the District. Usually on the East side of Eminences. Why they 
are found there. The Character of these Blocks. Natuhal 
Terraces: Where these are to be seen in the District. Are 
these Bench Marks? Seem lobe inconsistent witli Glacial Action. 
Simple Minerals which enter into the Composition of the various 
Rocks. The Spherical Concretions which are found in the Dis- 
trict. Remarks thereon. Concluding Observations. fW 



Introductory Observations. The People who first Inhabited this 
District. At the dawn of Record, Country covered by Celts. 
Thought to be Descendants of the Tribes which possessed Pales- 
tine. Was Britain peopled from Gaul ? Testimony of theR man 
Historians on this subject. Caesar's Notice of the Druidical Insti- 
tutions of Britain, examined with reference to tie Condition of 
the People. Caractacus. British Farms at the Roman Invasion. 
The Names of the Tribes who Inhabited this District. The Ter- 
ritory Occupied by them. Examination of the Opinions of Chal- 
mers and Others on this point. The District of Lothian, where 
was it? Altars found at Habitancum help to instruct the Ter- 
ritory occupied by the Early People. The Tweed the Tueda 
of Richard. Doubts as to Tweed's being the Boundary River. 
Watling-Street supposed to be the Boundary between the Otta- 
dini, and Gadeni who possessed the District. Line drawn by 
Chalmers cannot apply. Druidism the Religion of the Primi- 
tive People. Derivation of the term. Nature of the Worship. 



By whom introduced. Where the People Worshipped. Several 154 
Mountains owe their Names to the Worship of Baal. The Bel- 
tein, where kindled. Custom of going to the Hill Tops on May 
Dity a part of Baal Worship. Passing of Cattle through Need- 
fire. Remains of the Druidical Sj'stem — In a Moss near Tinnia 
Hill. Cairn, Cromlech, and Circle. Ninestanerig, Remains on. 
Tradition as to Lord Soulis being Boiled in a Cauldron there. 
Former Extent of this place shewn by the State of the Remains 
and Ground around. The Cell at Hermitage. Grant byBolbech 
to the Hermit. Remains near Plenderleath, between Oxnam 
and Cayle. The Eleven Shearers at Hounamkirk. Tradition 
regarding Remains between Hounam and Principal Cheviot. 
In the Neighbourhood of Yetholm part of Druid Circle. On the 
Farm of Frogdean. These formerly called Tryststanes. Druid 
Remain near Mounteviot. Extent of these in former times. 
These are thought to have been all erected by British People. 
The Mannpr of Burial of these People. The Ashes were depo- 
sited in Cairns, Cistvaens, and Urns. Description of these. 
Extent of some of these Cairns. Found in several Places in 
Liddesdale. On the Rule. In the Parish of Southdean. In 
Hounam, Linton, Morebattle, and Yetholm, these Remains are 
found. Other Places where found. Primside Mill, Wooden Hill, 
Caverton Edge, near Ednam, Eckford, and Crailinghall. A 
Cistvaen found in Garden, at Jedburgh. At Crailing, Beaulie, 
and Hawick, the same Remains have been found. Notices 
regarding the Moat Hill of Hawick. Reference to the same 
Remains found in India. The British People as Warriors. 
The Manner in which they Fought. The Weapons they used in 
Battle. The Forts of the Earliest People. Specimens of the 
British Forts found in Liddesdale at Cairby and Tinnis Hills. 
Descriptions of these. Observations on the Appearance of the 
District and these Hills. Forts on Farm of Flight, Hudhouse, Sorbi- 
trees. On the Hermitage same kind of Forts exist. Where 
these are to be found. Forts of the same kind in the Interior of 
Teviotdale. Dunion, Penielheugh, and Roxburgh. On Earlston 
Hill is a Fort supposed to be Vitrified. Observations on these 
Forts and Strengths. Doubts as to the kind of Strengths on the 
Eildon. Forts supposed to be erected by the Romanized Oltadini 
and Gadeni. The Catrail, its Character and Extent. By whom 
Formed. Observations on this Military Work. Its Connexion 
with Herrit's Dyke. Observations on the Strengths in the 
Neighbourhood of the Eildons. The Caves in the Rocks: 
Reason for Placing these Under the First Occupation of the 



Island. Found in various parts of the World at an Early Period. 151 
Caves on the Jed: at Lintalee, Hundalee, and Mossburnford. 
Description of these. Description of those at Ancrum in the 
Banks of the Ale. Of those at Grahamslaw and Roxburgh. 
The Roman Remains in the District. Enquiry into the Objects 
which led Caesar to invade Britain. The Arrival of Agricola 
in the Island. The Period of his Entry into this District. The 
Oppressions under which the Natives laboured on his Arrival, and 
which were remedied by him. In 79 he Explored the Woods and 
Forests. lie Fortified the Country by Posts and Stations. Ad- 
rian's Arrival in the Island. The Ottadini and Gadeni join in 
the Revolt of the Natives. Lollins Urbicus was appointed to ride 
in Britain. What lie did. When Severus assumed the Purple. 
Precautions taken by him. Reduced the Country between the 
Two Walls. Died at York. Caracalla, his Son, succeeded. 
Made Peace with the Natives and took Hostages. Constantius 
Chlorius was made Governor on t'.ie Resignation of Dioclesian. 
Theodosius appointed. He Overcame the Caledonians, and 
Named the District between the Two Walls, Valentia. 
Flower of British Youth taken to the Continent by Maximus. 
Britain felt the loss of her Youth. The Romans left the 
Island. The Watling Street. Etymology of the Name. 
Where it Starts from. Its Course by Corbridge, where it passes 
the Tine. Remains Found at that Place. From Corbridge to 
Hunnum on the Wall, and from thence to Risingham. Roches- 
ter the Bremenium of the Romans. Description of its Walls. 
Remains Found at this Station. Course of the Road after leav- 
ing Rochester. Arrives at Chewgreen. The Golden Pots. Ro- 
man Milestones. Description of these Stones. General Roy's 
opinion of these Stones. Similar Stones are Found on Devil's 
Causeway. Description of the Station at Chewgreen. Woden- 
law. Extensive Prospect from this PI ce. The Three Eildons 
are seen from it Where the Road Fords the Cayle. Street- 
House. Form of the Camp at Street-House. Description of it. 
Road from the Cayle to the Jed at Bonjedworth. Its Passage of 
the River. The Appropriation of the Road by the Adjacent Pro- 
prietors. The Manner of Construction of the Road. It is be- 
lieved that the Eildons are the Trimontium of the Romans. An 
Examination of the various Opinions as to the Situation of the 
Trimontium. Newstead a Roman Town. Remains found at 
that Place. Altar to the Campestral Mothers: a Slab with the 
Symbol of the Twentieth Legion Sculptured on it. An Altar 
Dedicated to the Gods of the Woods also found there. Buildings 



at Newstead. Description of these by Mr John Smith, Darnick. 154 
Discoveries made at this place in 1816. Medals and Coins of 
the Romans found in the District. Eildon Hills proved to be the 
Site of the Trimontium. Bonjedvvorth is thought to be the 
Gadanica of the Itinerary. Road after it passes the Tweed. The 
Wheelcauseway. Its Course after leaving the Roman Wall 
at Birdoswald. Enters Scottish Ground at Dead Water. 
It then assumes the name of Wheelcauseway. Description of it. 
Form of Construction. Destruction of it by Landlords and Far- 
mers. Wheelcburch, with its accompanying Grave Yard. Its 
Course over Needslaw into Teviotdale. Lost after it Coalesces 
with a Road which came over Note of the Gate. Conjectures 
as to its Course from that point. BonchesterHill. Roads R un- 
ning in the direction of Jedburgh. Devil's Causeway leaves 
the Watling Street on the East, shortly after it leaves the Roman 
Wall— supposed to have been used by Agricola while his Ships 
Explored the Coasts. A Second Branch Road sent oft* at Bre- 
menium — supposed to join the Devil's Causeway. Road on the 
West to Castleover. Road by Hawick, Hermiston, and Lillies- 
leaf, to Eildon. Roman Post on Side Hill. Post at Clintburn. 
Roman Stones in the Abbey of Jedburgh. Roman Camps on 
the Rule and Jed. Cross Roads of the District. Were used by 
the British Farmer in conveying Corn. Coins, and other Articles 
dropt by the Romans. Malton Walls at Ancrum. Description 
of these. Thought to be Roman. By which Road did the Romans 
enter the District. Christianity introduced by the Romans during 
the 1st Century. The Saxon era. When they reached the Tweed. 
Where they first gained a footing. Blackdyke running from Peel- 
fell to the Roman Wall. Description of it. Battle of Dawstone. 
Dawstonerig is thought not to be the place of the Battle Field. 
Kenneth Burns Dunbar and Melrose. Cumberland transferred to 
Malcolm. The Places in the District on which the Saxons im- 
posed names. Built the Towns of Jedworth. Examples of the 
Language spoken by that People. The Flemings — their impor- 
tance. Religion of the Saxons. Their attainments in the Arts. 
Saxon Coins found in the District. District placed under the 
Superintendence of Bishop of Lindisfarne. The Abbeys of the 
District: Description of Jedburgh Abbey. Its Architecture. 
Antiquity of the Building discussed. Marriage of Alexander III. 
in Abbey. A Spectre which appeared in the Procession of 
Maskers. Observations on this appearance. Injury sustained by 
the Building from the Border Wars. Persons Buried there. 
Abbey of Kelso: its situation and description— the form of the 



Building. The Style of Architecture. Hertford's reasons for not 
turning it into a Fortress. Injury sustained from Warfare. The 
period of the Foundation of the House: was a favourite Rest- 
ing Place for the Dead. The Abbey of Dryburgh: Beauty of 
its Situation. Form of the Building. Description of it. Its 
Architecture. The first Settlement of this Establishment. By 
whom it was Founded. Persons of Distinction Buried here. 
Grave of Sir Walter Scott. Melrose Abbey: Its Situation. 
Etymology of the Name. Foundation of the New House— its 
Form and Architecture. Description of the Ruins. Drake's 
opinion of the Ruins. Hutchinson's Account of it. Persons 
Buried within its Precincts. Enquiry into the Age of the present 
Building. Demolition of Statues. Observations on the 
Abbeys of Teviotdale. The reason why they were Built in 
the Form of a Cross. The Chosses of the District: Jedburgh 
Cross. Its Form and Antiquity. Ancrum Cross. Its Antiquity. 
Bishop Bondington resided at Ancrum. Bowden Cross— suppos- 
ed to be of same Age as Ancrum. Maxton Cross. Its Antiquity. 
Melrose Cross: Its Form— when Erected. Milnholm Cross: Its 
Form. Tradition regarding it. Ettleton Grave Yard. Cross found 
at Singdean. Monument on Lilliard's Edge : Enquiry as to its 
Origin. Cross at Heap— Tradition as to it. Denholm Cross. 
William's Croce, near Philliphaugh: Origin of it as related by 
Tradition. Tait's Cross on Kershope Hill. Remarkable place for 
Boughting Ewes in the beginning of Eighteenth Century. Re- 
cent Crosses. Memorial Stone at Haughhead — Notices regard- 
ing it. Concluding Remarks, 164-344 



FORD, 30 








HILL, - - - 123 
















^cthe district of country which is the object of 
®y> the following pages to describe, is the southmost 
division of Scotland, and situated in the centre of 
the British Island. It occupies nearly the whole 
Border line ; its westmost point being about fourteen 
miles from the Sol way Firth, and its eastmost point 
little more than the same distance from the Sea at 
the mouth of the Tweed. It is bounded on the east 
and south by Northumberland and Cumberland ; on 
the southwest by Dumfriesshire; on the west by 
Selkirk and Midlothian ; and on the north and north- 
east by the county of Berwick. Its form is oblong, 
and nearly of the same breadth throughout, except- 


ing at a place where a portion of it projects north- 
ward between the Gala and the Leader, to near the 
burgh of Lauder. Its outline is in nearly all its 
course irregular and full of sinuosities, especially in 
that part of it where it joins with Selkirkshire and 
the county of Berwick. 

The boundaries are to a great extent artificial and 
capricious, yet for considerable distances they are 
natural and well defined. From the river Tweed on 
the east, the boundary runs southerly over a central 
ridge — which takes its rise in the western hills, and 
runs eastward till it terminates in Floddenfield — to 
the Bowmont water, which it crosses at Shotton 
burn, a mile to the east of the Yetholms, and then 
stretches away by the Five Stones into the heart of 
the Cheviot mountains in a southwesterly direction by 
Halterburn, Whitelaw, the Blackhag, and Hanging 
Stone. When it reaches Arkhopecairn, Oocklaw, and 
Windygatehill, it turns more to the west — touching 
in its course the King's Seat, and Russell's Cairn — till 
it arrives at Blackhallhill, where it meets the Koman 
Causeway, or Watling Street, and which for two or 
three miles forms the boundary ; after which the 
line turns and runs westward by Coquethead and 
Fairnwoodfell ; passes Phillip's Cross about two 
miles east from where it crosses the Edinburgh 
and Newcastle turnpike at a place called the lied 
Swyre, from thence it runs along the Carter hill 
to the Kerryburn, which for a short distance forms 
the boundary between the two kingdoms ; it then 
proceeds by the Peelfell to the Wheel Causeway 


or continuation of the Maiden Way, which it crosses 
a little to the south of Myredykes. After passing 
the mineral well at Fairloans the line curves sharply 
for nearly a mile in the direction of Thorlies- 
hope, and then abruptly turns southward to Bells- 
burn, thence westward by Tynehead to the Kershope 
water, the channel of which forms the boundary, 
till it joins the river Liddel, which, in its turn, 
becomes the line of division between the counties of 
Roxburgh and Cumberland till its meeting with Dum- 
friesshire ; the line then turns sharply to the north- 
ward, running up the Mereburn, past Tinnis hill, by 
the Roan, Millenwood, and Pikefells, to Geordie's 
hill, and crosses the turnpike from Langholm to 
Hermitage castle, thence to Tudhopehill, and west- 
ward by Mosspaul and Fan hill to Teviotstone, 
thence northwest to Craickcross, Moodielawloch, and 
Wolfcleuchhead, to the Borthwick water. The 
boundary here is very irregular and jagged, owing to 
the lands of Girnwood and Milsington projecting 
separately for about two miles into the county of Sel- 
kirk ; the line then winds to the northward by 
Whitslaid, Whitknowe, Headshaw, and Whitmoor, 
receding considerably to the northeast, and then 
turning and running northwest till within a mile of 
the burgh of Selkirk, the principal town of that shire. 
It then bends to the eastward, crosses the river 
Tweed near to Abbotsford, moves along the Gala 
water, which it leaves to take in a portion of the 
town of Galashiels ; after which the stream forms the 
line of march to (Jrosslie, where the county joins with 


the shire of Mid-Lothian ; it then winds away to the 
north by Blinkbonnie to the Leader water, where 
it meets with the county of Berwick ; the line after 
touching the stream of the Leader for a little way, 
retreats westward, and returning again to the Leader 
near to Carolside, from thence by Olackmae, Craiks- 
ford, and Sorrowlessfield, to Drygrange, where the 
Leader water flows into the river Tweed; it then un- 
deviatingly follows the crooked course of the river by 
Old Melrose, Dryburgh, and Merton, till it arrives at 
Makerston, when it turns and proceeds in a northerly 
direction by Sandyknowe Tower, Westfield, and Gir- 
neck, and then eastward by the Pinchburn to Smail- 
holm-mill, following the Eden till it reaches near to 
.Nenthorn ; it then turns and runs southeast, not far 
to the east of the Muirdeans to Kaimknows, close by 
Pilestead, to the Eden, after which it goes up that 
river to Stitchell-mill ; it then ascends the heights by 
Sweethope to Stitchell, passing near to Home castle, 
and from thence by Harpertown and Highridgehall to 
the river Tweed, the course of which it follows till it 
reaches Carhamburn on the south side of the river. 

The county lies between 55° 6' 40" and 55° 42' 
50", north latitude, and between 2° 11" and 3° T 
52", west longitude from Greenwich. Its extreme 
length from where Carhamburn enters the Tweed on 
the east, to the junction of the Mereburn with the 
river Liddel on the west, is forty-three miles ; its 
extreme breadth from Coquethead on the south, to 
the northmost point of the projection between Gala 
and Leader, is about thirty miles ; but its breadth at 


other places does not exceed twenty miles. Its super- 
ficial extent is 696 square miles, or 446,440 acres. 
The county admits of four divisions. The first com- 
prehends the district drained by the Teviot and its 
tributary streams, forming the great body of the 
county, and consisting of 521 square miles, or 
333,440 acres. The second forms the southwest 
corner of the county, on the borders of Northumber- 
land, Cumberland, and part of Dumfriesshire, and 
comprehends all that hill country drained by the 
Liddel, Hermitage, and other streams which pour 
their waters into the Solway. This division contains 
120 square miles, or 76,800 acres. The third is that 
portion of the shire projecting between the Gala and 
Leader, consisting of 28 square miles, or 17,920 
acres. The fourth division lies to the northward of 
the river Tweed, is included in the Merse, and con- 
tains a superficies of 27 square miles, or 17,280 acres. 
The declination, that is, the prevailing slope, 
or exposure of the county, is generally to the 
south and southeast. On the west a range of 
mountains divides the county from the shires of 
Dumfries and Selkirk, in which the Teviot river 
takes its rise and flows eastward through its own 
dale, till it meets the Tweed at Kelso. On the 
north a high range of land runs parallel with the 
river, and slopes to its margin. Between this ridge 
and the high ground on the southbank of the Tweed, 
west of Eildon hills lies an expanse of territory 
drained by the Ale which rises in the same western 
line of hills, that send down from their water-sheds 


the Teviot and Borthwick. On the south an alpine 
range encloses Teviotdale from east to west, and 
from which the land declines to the basin of the 
Teviot. This portion of the county is drained by the 
Slitrig, Kule, Jed, Oxnam, and the Oayle, all of 
which have their origin in the border mountains, and 
flow into the Teviot. On the east of the Ale water, 
and to the north of the summit of the ridge, running 
east and west, the ground slopes gently to the Tweed. 
The portion of the district, which projects between 
the Gala and Leader, has also generally a southeast 
exposure, being drained by the Leader on the east, 
by the Elwand on the south, and by the Gala on the 
west. The district north of the Tweed, and included 
in the Merse, has a declination to the south and east, 
and is drained by the Tweed and Eden. After the 
Cayle leaves the mountains it flows westward to 
join the Teviot at Eckford, where that river turns 
from its eastward course, and cuts through the ridge 
already noticed, and flows north to the Tweed. The 
land to the south of the Cayle has a northerly slope, 
into what may be called the Cayle basin, while to the 
north of this river, the declination is to the south. 
All the land to the south of the Blakelaw-edge has a 
southern exposure. The division of the county, 
through which the Liddel and Hermitage flow, slopes 
to the southwest. 

The district viewed from the summit of the Dunian 
is exquisitely beautiful. This hill is situated in the 
centre of Teviotdale, and commands an extensive 
prospect in every direction. To the northeast the 


eye wanders along the lovely vales of Teviot and Tweed 
to the neighbourhood of Berwick, while on the south- 
west the vicinity of the Solway appears in the dis- 
tance. This extensive view, east and west, is obtained 
by a line of low land extending from the Solway to 
Berwick, and in the middle of which the Dunian is 
placed. This valley is the tract of the old red sand 
stone formation, which girdles with a belt of sand 
almost every hill in its narrow course. On the south 
the prospect is confined by the border mountains, and 
on the north by the hills of the Lammermoor range. 
From the neighbourhood of Yetholm to the termi- 
nation of the Lammermoor hills, the district is enclosed 
by a chain of mountain summits on the south, west, 
and north. Within this circle of hills is an exten- 
sive territory, which, looked down upon from the top 
of the Dunian, resembles a great basin. It is rich to 
a proverb, in a high state of cultivation, and exhibits as 
lovely a picture of a smiling landscape, which nature 
and art have alike contributed to enrich and adorn, 
as the eye can rarely find an opportunity to rest on. 
The margins of the Tweed and Teviot are, through- 
out their courses, studded with the seats of the nobility 
and gentry, embosomed in woods, while here and there, 
in the nooks and corners of the smaller rivers and 
streams, elegant mansions appear surrounded by the 
most picturesque scenery. Occasionally the eye is 
arrested in its survey by the remains of forts strongly 
rooted on some craggy steep, bidding defiance to the 
ravages of time, and telling in their ruins the history 
of other days, when the district was the chessboard 


on which were performed " scenes surpassing fable, 
and yet true." The ruined pile in the vale below, 
while it adds to the beauty and interest of the pic- 
ture, carries the mind back to that period when the 
early christian fathers laboured for the conversion of 
our pagan ancestors. Every glen, every knowe and 
stream of the district is celebrated for the daring deeds 
of a race of men who struggled for liberty and inde- 
pendence with a rich and powerful nation, never over- 
scrupulous in the means used to subject this land 
to its sway. 

The climate of the district has not any marked 
peculiarities. The temperature, excepting in the 
mountain ranges, seldom continues very low. In the 
western part of the county, near the sources of the 
Ale and Borthwick waters, and along the Border 
line, snow storms are occasionally severe, and hap- 
pen generally in January and February. In the 
interior of the district the temperature is compara- 
tively mild. The heat is moderate in summer — not 
often rising to such a height as to incommode the 
labours of the field. July and August are the two 
warmest months of the year. The mean annual tem- 
perature, from the observation of nine years, taken 
at Makerston, on the north bank of the Tweed, is 
46° '^approximating to that of Edinburgh, as deter- 
mined by Professor Playfair, 47° *7. In the. neigh- 
bouring county of Dumfries the mean annual tempe- 
rature for nine years is 42° *327. The mean annual 
temperature of the kingdom is from 45° to 47°. In 
the south, west, and northwest of the district, the 


atmosphere is possessed of a considerable degree of 
humidity, and, in spring and autumn, fogs and 
drizzly rains abound in these localities. In the other 
portions of the county the atmosphere is drier. The 
mean annual quantity of rain for nine years, as re- 
gistered by a rain gauge kept at Makerston, and 
placed at a height of 171 feet above the sea level, and 
6 - 5 feet above the surface of the ground, is 24 *18 
inches. The minimum 20*41, and the maximum 29 *82. 
At Dumfries the mean annual quantity deduced from 
seven years' observation is 33 54. At Perth, from an 
observation of nine years, 23 *1, being one inch less 
than fell at Tweedside during the same period. The 
winds are generally from the southwest and north- 
east. Those from the west are the highest, and at 
times rise to gale and tempest, while those from 
the northeast are keen, cold, and withering. The 
harvests of the district are considerably later than 
favoured localities in England, but are among the 
earliest in this part of the kingdom. The crops in 
the vale of Teviot, below Jed- foot, and on the banks 
of the Tweed, between Melrose and Coldstream, are 
among the first ready for the sickle. The crops on the 
haugh-lands, on the margins of the Teviot, are often 
cut about the first week of August. 



gJgJHB whole of the mountainous range which runs 
V>-> from east to west, beginning with Hesteroth, at 
Kirk-Yethohn, and ending with Craickmuir, on the 
source of the Borthwick water, bears the unmeaning 
name of Cheviot. On the eastern extremity of this 
range the principal mountain raises its dark head 
over the rest, to the height of 2682 feet above the 
sea level, and commands an extensive view on every 
side. On the north it overlooks the vale of Uow- 
mont, and ail the intermediate country lying between 
it and the lofty Lammermoors. Turning to the west- 
ward, the eye surmounts the elevated summit of 
Hownamlaw, and enjoys a full view of the picturesque 
banks of the Cayle, and the fertile vales of the Teviot. 
Eastward is seen the wide plain of Millfield, through 
which flow the dark waters of the Till. In the same 
direction is the river Glen, famous for being the spot 
where Alfred gained one of the seven great victories 
over the Danes. In this river it is said the apostle 
Paulinus, while living at the palace of Yeavering, 


baptised the people, who flocked to him from the 
neighbouring country. From the top of this moun- 
tain is seen the hill of Bel or Baal, at the foot of which 
the village of Yeavering stands, in ancient times called 
Adgebrin, and where till 630 the kings of Northum- 
berland resided, when it was deserted for Millfield in 
the immediate neighbourhood. This mountain being 
the highest of the range bears the appellation of Cheviot. 
Many of the summits clustered around are only a 
little lower. Chillhill — over the summit of which the 
Border line runs — rises to the height of 2000 feet above 
the level of the sea. Hownamlaw rears its towering 
crest between the Bowmont and Cayle, and claims 
an equality with the Cheviot mountain. This hill is 
beautifully situated, commanding a full view of the 
vales of both Bowmont and Cayle, divided from each 
other by a lower ridge of hills, running from How- 
namlaw by Grubbet, Wide-Open, Crookedshaws, and 
ending with the Todcrags, in the vicinity of Town- Yet- 
holm. Most of these hills are of a conical shape, and a 
number of them stand detached. All the pastures on 
the Bowmont and Cayle waters are close and fine : 
many of the lower hills bearing marks of having been 
cultivated nearly to their summits. At the source of 
the Oxnam and Jed waters, the hills do not attain 
so great a height — the Carter not rising higher 
than 1602 feet. On the march between the counties 
of Roxburgh and Dumfries the hills rise to a consider- 
able elevation. Tinnis hill is 1346 feet, and said to be 
a landmark for sailors. Millenwood Fell is about 2000 
feet above the sea level, and Tudhopehill, in the same 


locality, rises to the height of 1830 feet. From this 
place a range of hills runs eastward to the Note of 
the Gate, and divides the parishes of Cavers and 
Hobkirk from Castleton. In this range are the 
Greatmoor hill, Maiden Paps, the Leap Steel, and 
Fanna hill. Within a curve made by this tract of 
hills, Windburgh, in Hobkirk parish, rises to the 
height of 2000 feet. Near to Mosspaul is the 
Wisp hill, 1836 feet high. At this place is a very 
remarkable pass, through the mountain range, from 
the source of the Teviot to the rise of Ewes water, in 
Dumfriesshire. The turnpike from Edinburgh to Car- 
lisle runs through the gap, and in many places oc- 
cupies all its breadth. The road is nearly level, while 
on each edge of it many of the hills rise above 
1500 feet, with sides almost perpendicular, and all 
clothed with the closest verdure. The length of the 
pass in this county is about four miles. At the south 
end a beautiful scene bursts on the view, and well 
repays a special visit to this interesting locality. Here 
also a number of the hills are of a conical shape, and 
separated from one another. This peculiar feature 
of the Cheviot range affords easy access amongst the 
hills in every direction, without the necessity of as- 
cending the sides or summit of any one of .them. 
From out of many of these openings small burns 
ripple, and find their way into the Teviot on the 
north, or the vale of Ewes on the south. This range 
of hills bounds theTevioton the south to near Hawick, 
and at a little to the east of that town they retreat 
southward. Between the Teviot and the Borthwick 


waters, the same kind of hills exist, but as the great 
body of the mountains continue their course westward, 
to join the Ettrick hills, they lose their characteristic 
features, and become marshy. 

In the interior of Teviotdale there are not many hills 
of a great height. Near Jedburgh the Dunian rises 
to about 1031 feet above the sea level, commanding a 
fine prospect of the forest of Jed, the fertile haughs 
of the Teviot, and the lofty hills of the Cheviot and 
Lammermoor. The top of the hill is of a conical shape, 
and has the appearance of an addition placed on the 
summit of the Dunian ridge. The British name was 
no doubt conferred from its look. On the east the 
river Jed washes its base, and on the south the ground 
gradually falls to Swynhope, and at the foot of the 
western declivity the Ilule rushes on its course to the 
Teviot, which it joins at Spittal. This hill was in 
early days one of the watchtowers, on which a fire 
was placed to warn the men of " bonnie Teviotdale" 
of the approach of a hostile band from the other side 
of the border. In later days when the land was 
threatened by a French invasion, " the war beacon 
blazed 11 on its crest, calling to the standard of 
the king the sturdy borderers, and the alacrity 
with which they responded to the call, proved that 
the spirit of the race of men who fought with 
Wallace and bled with Bruce, had not departed from 
the border land. The apex of the hill bears evidence 
of extensive British fortifications. Opposite to where 
the Jed enters the Teviot is Penielheugh, in a posi- 
tion which renders it conspicuous from a great distance. 


It forms a part of the central line of high ground running 
parallel with the river. It also owes its name to the 
British people on account of the supposed resemblance 
to the human face. From the summit of this hill, 
the spectator commands a variegated and enchanting 
prospect over the shires of Roxburgh and Berwick, 
and part of Northumberland, a view of the fruitful 
and populous banks of the Tweed finely diversified 
by the windings of that noble river. It also affords 
a view of a fertile tract of country along both banks 
of the Teviot, which winds in considerable reaches 
through a valley at the base of the hill, in the highest 
state of cultivation. Westward the vale is exposed 
in all its fairness as far as the " braes of Branxholm." 
Where the shoulder of the hill slopes down to the 
river, stands Mounteviot, the residence of the Mar- 
quis of Lothian. On its crest is a monument 
erected to commemorate a chain of victories ending 
with Waterloo, obtained by Wellington over the foes 
of Britain. From the top of the monument the ocean 
at Berwick is discernible. The hill is situated in the 
richest, and overlooks the loveliest portion of Teviot- 

The next hill worthy of notice is Ruberslaw, which 
raises its dark serrated top to the height of 1419 feet 
above the sea level. The rapid waters of the Rule 
flow round its eastern base, and on the north the land 
declines to the Teviot. On the west is Denholm Dean, 
through which a small burn wimples to the Teviot. 
On the east bank of the Dean stands Denholm, the 
birthplace of Dr Leyden. The poet Thomson received 


a part of his education in the neighbourhood of this 
hill, and it is said that the sight of a snow storm on it 
suggested to him the idea of his poem of Winter. A stone 
at the apex of the hill bears the name of " Peden's 
pulpit " Tradition has it that this place was used 
by the " Martyr," when he preached to our covenant- 
ing fathers, who were forced to select the dark 
recesses of the mountain as hiding places from those 
who sought to do them harm. Here also in those 
evil days Mr John Welsh preached. On the north 
bank of the Teviot, and nearly opposite Ruberslaw, 
Minto Crags rise abruptly to the height of 649 feet. 
They are formed of a congeries of rocks interspersed 
with wood, and have a romantic appearance. Like 
every other strength in this border land, in the days 
when forays were rife, the crag was fortified. A small 
platform on a projecting rock called " BarnhilFs Bed," 
commands a beautiful prospect. The place is thus 
described by Sir Walter Scott. 

" On Minto crags the moonbeams glint, 
Where Barnhill hew'd his bed of flint, 
Who flung his outlawed limbs to rest 
Where falcons hang their giddy nest; 
'Mid cliffs, from whence his eagle eye 
For many a league his prey could spy ; 
Cliffs, doubling, on their echoes borne, 
The terrors of the robbers' horn." 

A little to the west of the Crags are two detached 
conical hills bearing the name of Minto, and at- 
taining an elevation of about 858 feet. Between the 
crags and hills the mansion of Minto is situated. The 
name of Minto has been imposed by the original in- 


habitants of the county, and the title of Earl of Min- 
to is taken from the locality. 

In the northern part of Teviotdale, and where 
Tweed's " fair flood" winds round the monastery of 
Melrose, rise the Eildons in three peaks to the 
height of 1634 fret. These hills are formed of pen- 
tagonal pillars of felspar, with the ends supposed to 
rest on the greywacke which appears at Bowden 
burn. The western hill is bare, and the colour of its 
rocks and soil gives it a brick-red appearance, even 
at a considerable distance. Owing to their posi- 
tion in a bend at one side of the basin, they do 
not. command such an extensive prospect, east and 
west, as the Dunian or Penielheugh. On the top of 
the eastern hill are the remains of British strengths, 
and at the base of it the Romans encamped. To the 
east of the hills the scenery is lovely, especially that 
part where the Tweed " raves" round the peninsula on 
which Old Melrose stood. It is hardly possible to 
imagine a finer situation for a religious house. At 
a short distance from the " Eildons three," and on 
the east margin of the Leader, the Blackhill rears its 
round top to the height of 1200 feet. This hill is the 
British Arysildun — the look-out-hill-fort — and to which 
the village in the vale below owes its name. On its 
summit are the remains of a British fort, as its .appel- 
lation suggests. On the east bank of the Tweed is 
Bemerside hill, 1011 feet high; and where the haugh- 
land at its southern base is laved by the waters of 
Tweed, stands the ruins of Dryburgh's gray pile, in 
which the ashes of Scotland's minstrel repose. 


In that part of the district which lies between 
the Leader and Gala the hills do not rise to a re- 
markable height, with the exception of Williamlaw on 
the west, which commands an extensive prospect. 
On the summit of the hill is a large collection of 
stones, called Bell's Cairn. This region was in an- 
cient times a wild forest, in which the monks of Mel- 
rose, the Bishop of St. Andrews, the family of Mor- 
villes, and the Earl of Dunbar claimed right of com- 
mon pasturage, wood for burning, and mast for swine. 
Many a sanguinary contest took place between the 
swineherds of Melrose and the men of the Stow as to 
their respective rights in the forest, which were at 
last settled by the king, with the aid of a jury. It 
is said that from these bloody scenes the territory was 
named Waedale, or the valley of Woe. But it is 
doubtful if the conflicts of the swineherds conferred 
the name on this locality. It is thought that the 
battles of the herds were not sufficient to bestow the 
character on the dale. Such affrays do not appear to 
have been confined to the valley of Gala. The dis- 
trict of Herriot on its west side, appears to have 
derived its name from the Saxon term to harry. Both 
districts owe their names to scenes of violence, but 
with Herriot the swineherds of Melrose could have 
no connection. 

Besides those already particularized, there are a 
number of hills worthy of notice, on account of having 
preserved their original appellations through succes- 
sions of people, while others are remarkable from hav- 
ing been the theatre of important events. In the west 


part of Cavers parish are Skelfhill-Pen, Pencrest- 
pen, Pencrest, and Burgh hills. In Castleton, on 
the Hermitage water, Nine Stane Rig, where one of 
the Soulis is said to have met an untimely death : 
Hermitage hills, in the locality of the castle of that 
name, at one time the stronghold of the Douglas, and 
at another the abode of Bothwell, where he was 
visited by the unfortunate Mary, " Billhope braes 
for bucks and raes," Carby hill between the Liddel 
and Kershope waters, and the Chesters in Southdean 
parish. There are also a number of hills scattered 
throughout the county, with their names terminat- 
ing in " law," denoting their round formation, and 
the prefix u brown,"" " black," &c, their colour and 
general appearance. 

On these hills tradition says 

u The doughty Douglas on a steed, 
He rode his men before ; 
His armour glittered us did a glede, — 
A bolder bairn was never born," 

met the haughty Percy out of Northumberland, who 
had vowed 

" That he would hunt in the mountains 
Of Cheviot, within days three ; 
In maugre of doughty Douglas, 
And all that with him be." 

In ancient times these mountains formed an almost 
impregnable natural barrier, by which the inhabitants 
of Teviotdale were protected against the sudden in- 
cursions of the marauders of the sister kingdom. And 



though only a few hazel woods of a dusky hue, and 
clumps of stunted oaks and birches now appear 
scattered on the rivulets and water courses, extensive 
forests existed in early times, where the warrior found 
shelter from his enemies, and the hunter with bended 
bow and quiver full of arrows traversed in search of 
the means of subsistence. But as civilization advanced, 
the decay of forests, and the gradual extermination of 
wild animals followed its steps, and the warrior and 
hunter turned themselves by degrees to the tending of 
the more gentle and tractable animals. Now nothing 
is heard in these mountain glens save the bleating of 
the tender lamb for its dam, the solitary cry of the 
shepherd, and the response of his faithful dog. In 
these regions the Cheviot sheep are reared, and sent 
to almost every part of the united kingdom. 



^©he lochs of the district are few and of small 
<^zj) dimensions. Primside loch, in the parish of 
Morebattle, within a mile of Yetholm, is a beautiful 
sheet of water, about a mile and a half in circumfer- 
ence. This loch was at one time larger, and extended 
on the east as far as the vale of Bowmont. Within 
the memory of man all the flat ground lying in front 
of Cherrytrees was nearly an entire morass. A little 
to the west of Primside loch there formerly existed a 
large collection of water called Linton loch, but which 
was several years since drained by the proprietors of 
the adjoining lands. It was ascertained by measure- 
ment that the loch contained a stratum of about 
295,110 yards of excellent marl. The land, which 
was at one time covered by the waters of the loch, now 
produces good crops, and heavy cattle graze, where only 
the tall reed was wont to flourish. It is thought that the 
two lochs were formerly united, and extended westas far 
as Marlfield. In the parish of Linton there is a small 
sheet of water on Hoselaw. A place near to Hoselaw, 
on the west, bears the descriptive name of Lochinches, 


and all that low ground between the Kelso highway 
and Greenlees farm onstead, was once covered with 
water. This locality is famed as being the scene of 
the exploit which gained for the first of the Somer- 
villes all Linton parish. On the high ground which 
runs from Eildon hills westward, there is within the 
estate of Abbotsford a beautiful sheet of water, named 
Cauldshiels, fully a mile in circumference, surrounded 
by thriving young forests, planted by Sir Walter Scott. 
From this mountain tarn rises Huntly burn, where 
tradition says Thomas the Rhymer held his meetings 
with the Fairy Queen. This was a favourite haunt 
of the minstrel — he loved to wander where 

'* the stream, the same for ever flows, 

Soft gliding through the leafy brake, 
From Cauldshiels dark unfathom'd lake." 

Whitmuir loch, situated on the borders of Selkirk- 
shire, is a small sheet of water not above three quar- 
ters of a mile in circuit. Throughout the district there 
were a number of smaller lochs, but they are fast dis- 
appearing before the exertions of the improver. 

The next objects of natural curiosity are the rivers 
and streams of the district. 

The Tweed, which derives its name from the Bri- 
tish people who first inhabited its banks, and sig- 
nifies the boundary or dividing river, enters the dis- 
trict near to the influx of the Ettrick about 
two miles below the burgh of Selkirk, and at an 
elevation of nearly three hundred feet above the sea 
level. After running about thirty miles it leaves the 
district at its confluence with the Carhamburn. Its 


whole course in the county is one of great richness* 
Shortly after the river reaches the shire it passes 
Abbotsford, where it is remarkable for the beauty 
of its banks. Perhaps the best point to view the 
river and its scenery in this locality, is from the 
peninsula formed by the Gala and Tweed. The 
picture is exceedingly beautiful. The river glides 
through a vale of considerable extent and singular 
loveliness, receiving in its course the Gala, Elwan, 
and smaller streamlets. On each side of the vale 
the land rises gradually to a considerable height. 
Here and there are lovely plantations and groves 
of trees ; behind these, neat onsteads and well ma- 
naged farms, and in the distance the peaks of the 
Eildon. Close on the river's edge stands Abbotsford, 
once the abode of him 

" Whose fame hath shed a lustre on our age, 
The mightiest of the mighty ! o'er whose page 
Thousands shall hang, until time's eye shall dim." 

Below Abbotsford the river receives the Gala at 
a height of 286 feet above the level of the sea. A 
little farther on, it passes Bridgend, a small hamlet 
now of little consequence, but memorable on account 
of the occurrences which it witnessed in ancient times. 
It received its name from a bridge erected oyer the 
river by David I., to afford a passage to the abbey 
of MelroBe, then one of the four great pilgrimages of 
Scotland. Part of it was still standing in 1746, and 
is said to have consisted of four pillars, upon which lay 
planks of wood, and on the middle pillar, a gateway, 
large enough for a carriage to pass through, and over 


that a room, 27 feet by 15, in which the toll-keeper re- 
sided. At this place the river " holds on its majestic 
course from current to pool, and from pool stretches 
away to other currents with a dignity peculiar to it- 
self amongst the Scottish rivers." It was at this 
bridge that father Philip the sacristan of the monas- 
tery arrived in returning from a visit to Glendearg, 
at a late hour of the night, and owing to the stub- 
bornness of the toll- keeper, was forced to seek the 
ford farther down the stream, where he found the 
" damsel" who mounted behind him on the crupper 
of the mule, singing 

" Merrily swim we, the moon shines bright, 
There's a golden gleam on the distant height, 
There's a silver shower on the alders dank, 
And the drooping willows that wave on the bank. 
I see the abbey, both turret and tower, 
It is all astir for the vesper hour ; 
The monks for the chapel are leaving each cell, 
But where's father Philip, should toll the bell?" 

till they arrived at the *' broad sheet of tranquil 
water, caused by a strong weir or damhead running 
across the river' 1 to supply the convent mills, " when 
the father was pitched out of the saddle by the lady 
of Avone!." The whole course of the riy,er from the 
ford to the damhead is faithfully depicted in that 
charming romance. The river, a little below Bridgend, 
receives the rapid waters of the Elwan or Alwain, 
which rises in the high grounds on the north. There 
are here two celebrated salmon casts, Carrowel and 
the Noirs. Lord Somerville, who is the owner of the 
fishings on the river from Gala to the village of New- 


stead, has here a finely situated fishing lodge named 
after the stream, which flows through a portion of 
his grounds. The river then winds round the " dark 
abbaye," passes Newstead to where 

"Drygrange with milk white ewes, 
'Twixt Tweed and Leader standing." 

Rushing on, the river passes the well-clothed braes of 
Gledswood and Bemerside on the left ; the peninsula 
on which " Old Melrose rose 11 on the right, till it arrives 
at the ivied walls of Dryburgh. Shortly after leaving 
Dryburgh, Merton, the lovely residence of Lord Pol- 
warth, the descendant of Watt of Harden, appears 
surrounded with wood. As the waters hasten on they 
pass Makerston, the delightful abode of Sir Thomas 
Brisbane, situated on the south bank of the river, 
clothed with valuable wood. It then proceeds amongst 
scenes of great beauty to where, on the one bank, 
Roxburgh's " proud castle, 11 the " curb, the guardian 
of this border land 11 once stood, but the towers are 
fallen, and nothing now is seen of that mighty fortress, 

" One moss-clad ruin rise between the trees." 

On the opposite bank is the ducal residence of Rox- 
burgh, standing on a gentle elevation in the middle 
of extensive plantations, with the lawn in front sloping 
to the river. Further on, the river meets with the 
Teviot, at which place it is 83 feet above the sea 
level, and expands to the breadth of about 130 yards. 
Holding on her silent way by Pinnaclehill and Hen- 
derside, the river bids farewell to the district shortly 
after receiving the gliding waters of the Eden. 







The river abounds with the finest variety of sal- 
mon, which in the spawning season are guarded by 
severe enactments. By the act 1431, cap. 31, the 
river was declared to be open to all Scotsmen at all 
times of the year, as long as Berwick and Roxburgh 
remained in the hands of the English. In like man- 
ner, several more recent statutes, while making the 
slaying of salmon in forbidden times capitally punish- 
able as theft, especially excepts " the salmon, kipper, 
smolt, and all other fishes slaine or tane within the 
rivers of Annan and Tweed allene^y." The reason 
of this exception seems to be that, at the period 
alluded to, these rivers formed at many places the 
boundary between Scotland and England, whereby 
the forbearance of the slaughter of salmon in forbid- 
den, times, by Scotsmen, would not have had the 
effect of rendering fish more plentiful in the waters, 
unless the same order had been observed by the Eng- 
lish. But this impediment being removed at the union 
of the two crowns, a statute was passed annulling 
and abrogating the exceptions of the waters of Tweed 
and Annan. Several statutes were passed with 
the intention to put an end to a system of poaching 
in the Tweed and its tributaries ; but these being 
found ineffectual in preserving the breed of sal- 
mon, and the rights of the proprietors, another act 
was obtained containing very stringent provisions, 
and which is now the law of the river and all 
its tributaries. By this act it is declared unlawful for 
any person to fish, except by means of the rod, be- 
tween the 15th of October and the 15th of February. 


Angling is also prohibited between the 1st of October 
and the 15 th of February ; nor by any way or means 
between six o'clock on Saturday night and two of the 
clock on Monday morning, from the 1 5th February 
till the 1st day of June, or between six o'clock on 
Saturday night and six o'clock on the Monday 
morning, from the 1st day of June till the 15th of 
October in each year. This statute also forbids the 
destruction of the salmon fry under severe penalties. 
The fisheries in the river Tweed are valuable. His 
Grace the Duke of Roxburgh is possessed of the most 
extensive fishings in the river. On the south side 
they commence at the border and run up to the 
Rutherfurd fishings, a stretch of about 10 miles, and 
on the north from Makerston waters to half a mile 
below Kelso. The fishings of Henderside then be- 
gin, and extend two miles down the river till they 
meet with those of the Earl of Home. The Maker- 
ston fishings comprehend the north side of the river 
from the foot of Killmouth stream to the Rutherfurd 
waters, and on the south side his Grace of Roxburgh 
is proprietor. Then follow the Rutherfurd fishings, 
extending on the south side to Littledean tower ; 
the Merton water is about two miles in length ; 
the Maxton, Dryburgh, Bemerside, Old Melrose, 
Gledswood, and the Drygrange fishings, the latter 
of which extend from the bridge over the Tweed 
at Leaderfoot to the village of Newstead, where 
the fishings of Lord Somerville begin, and extend 
to the confluence of the Gala. Above that place 
are the fishings of Abbotsford and Boldside. High 


eiims are paid for the privilege of fishing in these 
\vaters ; the two miles of Henderside water bringing 
i?200 per annum, and the other fishings fully as high 
rents in proportion. The average weight of the 
salmon caught in Tweed may be stated at nine or 
ten pounds ; but salmon are frequently captured with 
the fly on the waters of Kelso weighing forty pounds ; 
grilses vary from three to seven pounds. 

The trouts during the months of May and June 
are firm, whitefleshed) and rich. Frequently trouts 
are caught weighing two, three, and seven pounds. 

The river Teviot is next in magnitude to the Tweed, 
and rises in the Fanhill, one of the range of hills 
which separate the county of Roxburgh from Dum- 
friesshire. The name is evidently derived from the 
British speech, and very descriptive of this classic and 
lovely stream. In the language of the Celt it means 
that which expands or spreads in its course, or has a 
tendency to overflow its banks. The British name ex- 
actly describes the character of the river. It has a 
tendency to expand, and that calmly. In the winter 
season, when the smaller streams which drain this 
region are swollen, the Teviot spreads her waters 
over the whole vale, presenting for three miles to the 
west of Kirkbank an unbroken sheet of water, and 
but for the trees and hedgerows, would be no inapt 
representation of the lake of the olden time. It is 
difficult to determine its exact source, but it is sup- 
posed to be near to the Teviot stone, a mile to the west 
of Merry laws. About two miles from its rise it re- 
ceives Ramsaycleuch-burn on the north, and a small 


streamlet which passes Giddenscleuch. Four miles 
lower down, it receives the Frostly, a stream equal 
to itself in size, and which is formed by the junction 
of Linhope-burn and Limeycleuch-burn. The river 
then winds through a wild pastoral region by Colters- 
cleuch, Commonside, Teinside, and Broadhaugh, till it 
receives the Allan water at Newmill. After passing 
this place the vale opens, and the hillsides afford freer 
access to the plough. On the south bank stands the 
ancient fortress of the Scotts of Buccleuch, now mo- 
dernized and occupied by the chamberlain of His 
Grace of Buccleuch. The country here begins to 
assume a different aspect, and the river receives a 
considerable accession to its waters by the influx of 
the Borthwick — where the Peel of Goudilands over- 
looks the vale of Teviot, and up " Old Borthwick's 
roaring strand." Before reaching Hawick the river 
passes Wilton Lodge, situated in an elbow of the hill 
rising from the south bank, and in the centre of the 
town the waters of the Slitrig flow into its channel. 
Below Hawick the country becomes more open and 
fertile, and on each margin neat mansions appear 
surrounded with wood. Burngrove, Midshiels, Hal- 
sendean or Teviotbank, are beautifully located on 
the north bank of the river. The stream then passes 
Denholm on the south bank, and hastens to meet 
the Rule at Spittal. The scenery here is very fine, 
and at Chesters is not surpassed in the locality. A 
little below Chesters the dark waters of the Ale pour 
into the river, and add greatly to its dimensions. 
The river then winds through the domain of the 


Marquis of Lothian, and passes in front of Mounteviot 
House. In about a mile it receives the river Jed, 
and two miles further on the waters of Oxnam ; 
it then proceeds onwards along the valley .till it 
arrives at Kirkbank, when it turns north and makes 
for the Tweed. Between its junction with the Cayle 
at Ormiston and Roxburgh the course of the river is 
more rapid. The banks become very picturesque, 
and few residences occupy a lovelier situation than 
Sunlaws on the east margin. The scenery too, as the 
river passes the ruins of Roxburgh Castle and 
Springwood Park, is full of beauty. From the 
connection of the river with the Tweed, salmon pe- 
riodically visit it, and it also abounds with trout. In 
point of quality the trout of this river excel those of the 
Tweed. When caught in season, the larger kinds 
are red-fleshed, of faultless symmetry, and beautifully 
marked. They weigh on an average half-a-pound to 
a pound. All anglers agree that they fight hard for 
their life and liberty. 

The Scottish lyrists have been very partial to 
this river. In the poem of " Cowdenknows" are 

" The powers that haunt the woods and plains 
Where Tweed with Teviot flows." 

Ramsay, in praising the bonny lass of Branxholm, 

" As I came in by Teviot side, 
And by the braes of Branksome." 

and Dr Leyden, the celebrated linguist and poet, 
while recollecting the Scenes of Infancy, exclaims, 


•« Untainted yet thy stream, fair Teviot ! runs 
With unatoned blood of Gambia's sons ; 
No drooping slave with spirit bowed to toil, 
Grows like the weed self- rooted to the soil ; 
Nor cringing vassal on these pansied meads 
Is bought and bartered as the flock he feeds." 

In the Lay of the Last Minstrel, the author thus 


" Sweet Teviot ! on thy silver tide 

The gleaming bale-fires blaze no more; 
No longer steel-clad warriors ride 

Along thy wild and willowed shore ; 
Where'er thou wind'st, by dale or hill, 
All, all is peaceful, all is still, 

As if thy waves, since Time was born, 
Since first they roll'd upon the Tweed, 
Had only heard the shepherd's reed, 

Nor started at the bugle-horn." 

The Cayle rises from the northern declivity of the 
same range of mountains which send the Tyne, the 
Bremish, the Coquet, and other rivers into England. 
Its name is derived from the extensive forests which 
once adorned its banks. At the present day not a 
shrub in the upper parts of its course is to be seen 
on its margins. Even after leaving the mountains, a 
few stately oaks and low spreading beeches at Clif- 
ton Park, and Marlfield, and a few plantations of 
later growth at Grahamslaw, are all that occupy the 
place of thick woods. Its exact source is in Fairn- 
woodfell, about a mile higher up than the Fairloans, 
and close upon the border line. It then flows north 
in a small streamlet by Upper and Nether Hind hope, 
where it receives other border burns ; then by Tow- 
ford, Smailcleuch, Swinelaws, and the Chattos, through 


a wild pastoral region with high hills on the south, to 
Hownamkirk, at which place its waters are increased 
by a small tributary which joins it from the south. 
The stream then bends round the church of How- 
nam and proceeds on its course northward, passing 
the Granges, Grubbet, Gateshaw, and Corbethouse, 
till it reaches the open valley at Wide Open, the 
paternal estate of the poet Thomson. From How- 
nam to Wide Open the stream runs parallel with the 
Bowmont, from which it is divided by a spur of hills, 
previously noticed, running from Hownamlaw to the 
neighbourhood of the Yetholms. It then turns and 
runs direct west along this valley to Marlfield. 
There are good grounds for believing that in 
former days the Oayle was one of the feeders of 
a great lake which covered the whole of the valley 
from Crookedshaws to Marlfield, separated from the 
basin of the Teviot by the ridge at Blinkbonny and 
the gravelly knolls of Eckford, and which no doubt 
was at the same period filled with water. The rea- 
sons for such a belief may be very briefly stated. On 
each side of Teviot vale two lines of high land run 
parallel with the river ; on the north by Minto 
Crags, Penielheugh, Caverton, Linton, and which 
continues to Primside hills, Wark Common, and 
Flodden. On the south by Ruberslaw, Dunian, Lan- 
ton hill, Stewartfield, Crailing, Wooden, and More- 
battle. These ridges are nearly parallel, in no case 
approaching nearer to each other, excepting here and 
there the base of a hill swells farther out into the 
valley, but never so as to destroy the outline of the 


vale. At Eckford the vale has been filled to a con- 
siderable depth by a current of water from southwest 
to southeast, leaving little more than space for the 
Cayle water to gurgle through. This obstruction 
extends from Cayle water foot to Marlefield, a dis- 
tance of scarcely two miles. At this day the river 
Teviot runs against this gravelly bank, and but for 
its waters cutting a course by Roxburgh would have 
flowed into the Cayle basin. 

The same cause that operated in damming the 
course of the Teviot also turned the course of the 
Cayle. At the east-end of Linton loch a great quan- 
tify of gravel is thrown into the narrow neck of the 
valley or gorge, and has turned the course of the water 
from east to west, instead of running by Primside 
and Yetholm, turning and running by Caverton-mill 
and Marlfield. As the channel of the Teviot by Rox- 
burgh deepened, the waters which came into the basin 
of the Cayle were drawn out in that direction by the 
outlet of Grahamslaw, and as the beds of both streams 
deepened, the waters in both basins gradually les- 
sened. The appearances along the whole course of 
these rivers prove the view contended for. In many 
places are to be found conical mounds of sand, which 
could only have assumed the shape they bear by hav- 
ing been drifted into deep water. In these cones it is 
scarcely possible to find any large particles. The exist- 
ence of these conical hills of sand have given rise to 
rather an interesting tradition, at a period when the 
inhabitants of the district could not otherwise ac- 
count for the formation of these sand hills. At Linton 


church there exists one of these sand hills, and on 
which it is believed the kirk and burving ground are 
situated. According to tradition, two sister nuns were 
compelled to pass the whole sand through a riddle or 
sieve as a penance for their transgressions, or to ob- 
tain pardon for a crime of a brother. This is firmly 
believed by the inhabitants of the locality to this day ; 
but it is needless to say that there is no foundation 
for the tradition. The existence of the conical hill 
is easily explained without the sisters having any 
hand in its formation, not to say any thing about 
their inability to perform the herculean task of rid- 
dling a little hill. If formed by the hands of mortals, 
they must have been a very industrious and powerful 
race which lived in those days, as the margins of the 
valley exhibit the same workings at every turn. On 
the opposite side of the vale there are large sand 
ridges jutting out into the haugh. At each elbow of 
the valley, the same appearances exist : at the junc- 
tion of the Cayle water with the valley, at the east- 
end of what was called Linton loch, where a bar of 
sand stretches from the hills into the loch, and at 
various places in the course of the low ground. 

Independent of the natural appearances of the 
valley, there are other corroborative proofs going to 
establish the theory, that the whole of the valleys of 
Teviot and Cayle were at a former period filled with 
water. In the ancient records Mosstower is describ- 
ed as standing in a moss ; and at this day there still 
exists evidence of the fact. Morebattle too is in- 
structive of the state of the valley. The name is 


Saxon, and means the village situated on the lake. 
Further on is Primside loch, and then the marsh at 
Cherrytrees, which was at no distant period a sheet 
of water. In addition it may be mentioned, that the 
whole vale along which the Cayle travels from Linton 
loch to Caverton mill is a bed of fine sand, particularly 
from the place where the stream enters the plain till 
it passes Morebattle Tofts. In the summer season 
the channel is completely dried up where it passes 
Morebattle Tofts farm onstead. This is caused by 
the water sinking into the bed of sand at Linton mill 
damhead, and filtering through it till it appears again 
at Caverton mill. As a curious illustration of this 
it may be noticed, that the lead, conveying the water 
from the Tofts thrashing mill, contains at all sea- 
sons a stream of water, while there is not a drop 
in the lead to the mill, or in the bed of the river. 
This is accounted for by the fact that the lead from 
the mill is cut into the sandbed, while the lead above 
is on a level with the haugh and channel of the water, 
and consequently water entering it soon disappears 
in the sand below the soil. An examination of the 
banks will explain this view satisfactorily. At this 
place there are three ridges running south and north, 
on the westmost of which the village of Morebattle 
stands, and the eastmost is parallel with the* Cayle 
in its descent from the mountains of Cheviot. The 
tops of these ridges have a coating of soil, while below 
they are — on the north at least — formed of sand. 
The Cayle some years ago in its course west, washed 
the north end of these ridges, and owing to their 


being formed of sand, each flood carried away a 
great quantity of the sand, and masses of the earth 
fell into the water course. But lately the proprietor 
of the land took the alarm, and by embanking and 
planting, the water is kept at a distance from the end 
of the sand banks. The nature of the bank and the 
channel of the river is, however, such that unless the 
greatest care be taken in preserving the land from the 
influence of the water, the ridge will soon fall a victim 
to the insidious attempts of that powerful element, 
and thus fulfil a prophecy of an ancient seer of More- 
battle, handed down by tradition, and implicitly be- 
lieved in, that the kirk and grave yard are destined 
to be swept away by the waters of Cayle. In the 
channel of the water here, is found a peculiar kind of 
stones, popularly called Oaylewater stones. These 
stones are generally flat in shape, and of a whitish 
colour. By the country people they are called fairy 
stones, and are similar to stones found near where 
the Ale enters the Teviot, in the channel of How- 
denburn, and where the Alwyn flows into the 
Tweed. On its way westward the Cayle passes 
Clifton Park, a lovely residence, situated on its north 
bank, and approaches Marlfield which looks east- 
ward along the valley. This place was formerly the 
residence of the proprietor of Grubbet, — the Sir Wil- 
liam of Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd — but it now forms 
a part of the territory of the Marquis of Tweed dale. 
Here the poet Thomson resided for sometime, where 
it is said he composed a poem to iEolus. The river 
then passes between steep banks by Grahamslaw 


and Haughhead to the Teviot. The banks of the Cayle 
— while it threads its way by Grahamslaw — are parti- 
cularly picturesque and romantic. There are here 
several caves cut in the precipitous sand rocks, ren- 
dered famous for having been the place where Lord 
Douglas held the meeting to consolidate the Grahams- 
law league, to break which he was stabbed in Stirling 
Castle by James II. When persecution for religious 
belief raged in Scotland, Haughhead was possessed by 
a stern covenanting laird. Ley den, while contrasting 
the banks of Oxnam with Cayle, awards the palm to 
the latter : 

" Through richer fields her milky wave that stain 
Slow (Jala, flows o'er many a chalky plain ; 
With silvery spikes of wheat, in stately row, 
And golden oats that on the uplands grow, 
Grey fields of barley crowd the water edge, 
Drink the pale stream, and mingle with the sedge." 

Oxnam rises in the border mountains, within little 
more than a mile of the source of the Cayle water. 
It runs by Plenderleith and Riccarton, passes near 
the Street house, then onward by the Swinsides, 
Bloodylaws, and Burnmouth, to the village of Oxnam; 
from thence by Capehope, and the Crailings, to the 
Teviot. Its course is about twelve miles, and after 
passing the village, its banks are mostly steep, and 
the channel rocky. These banks were of old cover- 
ed by impervious fastnesses called the Hen wood, 
which furnished a rendezvous for the border wariors, 
when invaded by their ancient adversaries. " A 
Henwoody ! a Henwoody !" was one of the slogans of 


the border-land, and when once raised, " made every 
heart burn with ardour, and every hand grasp a wea- 
pon, and every foot hasten to the Kenwood."*' Ox- 
nam is not the primitive name of this stream, but has 
been imposed by the Anglo Saxons. " The links of 
Ousenam water" appear in the ballad of ' Rattling 
Roaring Willie? although Leyden sings thus : 

" Bard of the seasons ! could my strain, like thine, 
Awake the heart to sympathy divine, 
Sweet Oxnam's stream, by thin leaved birch o'erhung, 
No more should roll her modest waves unsung." 

Jed, which derives its name from Gad, a wood, 
takes its rise between Needslaw and Carlentooth, at a 
place where the W heelcauseway crosses the table land 
between Liddesdale and Teviotdale. It runs by Rei- 
vingburn and Westshiels. About five miles from its 
source it receives the waters of Blackburn and the 
Carter, after which it makes a curve round Lustruther, 
and then runs by Southdean-mill to Whiteside, where 
itenters Jedburgh parish, and after a run of three miles 
is increased by Edgerstonburn. In a short time it ar- 
rives at Old Jed worth, where there are the remains 
of a chapel and its accompanying cemetry. There 
could not be a more appropriate place for the per- 
formance of religious duties. Surrounded on all sides 
by an impenetrable forest, it was comparatively se- 
cure from the hands of the ruthless invader. Here 
the votaries of religion might forget the world, and 
indulge in undisturbed meditation on the wonders of 
nature, or the vanity of earthly things. In the centre 
of the chapel a majestic ash tree nods silently as the 


soft breezes of evening move among the branches, and 
far up in the woods, which clothe the opposite bank 
of the Jed, the cushat continues her plaintive and in- 
cessant cry. On every side are planted the sepulchres 
of the dead — the priest and warrior, the noble and 
peasant rest together in peace, without any marble 
or other stone or railing of any kind to shield their 
remains. On the opposite bank of the river are the 
remains of several houses and a mill. Not far from 
this secluded spot stood Dolphinston castle, a strong 
border fort, for centuries successively the scene of 
strenuous exertions, and rude hilarity. A guard of 
sixty men was stationed here to protect the neigh- 
bouring country, and watch over the forces of England. 
The river winding " round every hazel copse and 
smiling mead, 11 reaches Mossburnford, once a popu- 
lous village, but now consisting of a farm mansion, 
situated near to the top of a rugged precipice, popu- 
larly called Coriesheugh, plainly corrupted from 
Corsheugh so named, from its proximity to a tract of 
flat marshy land, i. e. the heugh at the Corse or Marsh. 
There are also a few thatched cottages and farm- 
houses beautifully situated at the termination of the 
vale, extending to the Henwood on the Oxnam water. 
The ruins of a mill here stand in a picturesque situa- 
tion at the foot of the red sand-stone precipice, and it 
is said to have stood the breeze of many centuries. 
High up in the rocky bank are two caves, similar to 
Grahamslaw, Lintalee, and Ancrum. The river at 
this part receives a small burn called the Moss-burn, 
which drains the valley to the east. Formerly, 


the whole low land between the Jed and the Hen- 
wood was a loch, described in old charters as the 
waters of Scraesburgh, but which have now disap- 
peared before the skill of the husbandman. The 
village is situated at the place where the burn leaves 
the moss, and falls into Jed. At a little distance 
farther down, the river passes Glen-Douglas, situated 
in a beautiful retreat, occupied by the chamberlain of 
Lord Douglas. Near this charming place, on the 
same bank of the river, is Langlee, a neat modern 
fabric, surrounded on every side by stripes of thriving 
plantations. This seat commands a fine prospect of 
the numerous windings of the Jed in the vale below, 
its banks clothed by the oak, the ash, the beech, the 
chesnut, and other forest trees. Passing the old 
woods of Ferniherst, the waters are increased by the 
rivulet that issues from Swynhope. It was near 
this spot where the gallant Douglas, in 1316, erected 
a house for himself on a strong position on the west 
bank of the river, and huts for his men with materials 
which the forest afforded, when he was threatened by 
a superior force of the opposite kingdom, who had 
ravaged and plundered Teviotdale and the Merse. A 
neat cottage of modern construction now occupies the 
site of this ancient fort in the forest, which, in early 
days, resounded with the slogan of " a Douglas ! a 
Douglas ! P 1 and the husbandmen are seen at work in 
the fields which were once covered with a thick forest 
of oak. From the place where this cottage stands 
the scenery is lovely : the river meanders below 
in a waving line, directing its course first to the 


bottom of the steep bank, in which are several caves 
cut out in the red-sand rock, leaving the whole breadth 
of Priorshaugh unbroken on the other side ; and 
then with an altered direction passes Hundalee-mill, 
and rushes against the base of a scaur, which stops 
the current and sends it northward. The banks of 
the river, as it winds round Priorshaugh, are clothed 
with fine old wood, and at the foot of the haugh, on 
the south margin, stands a large oak, called the 
Capon tree. It is thought that the tree derives its 
name from the Capuchin Friars, who delighted to 
wander amidst such lovely scenes, and linger beneath 
the shade of the wide-spreading oaks. The haugh 
on which the tree stands belonged to the monastery, 
and was named after the Prior. The tree measures 
twenty-one feet above the roots ; about ten feet up 
it divides itself into two branches, which measure 
respectively eleven feet and-a-half and fourteen feet. 
It is between seventy and eighty feet high, and 
covers fully an area of ninety-two feet. On the 
same bank, and near to the Capon tree, another 
oak, popularly called the King of the Wood, rears 
its spiral top to the height of eighty feet. Its girth 
is eighteen feet, and at fifteen feet eleven-and-a half. 
Both trees belong to the Marquis of Lothian. The 
river than passes Inchbonny and Allars, after which 
it winds round " Jeda's ancient walls, once the seat of 
kings, 11 and runs eastward by Bongate and Bonjed- 
worth to the Teviot, at a place where the Watling 
street crossed that river. Nearly the whole course of 
the Jed isstudded with farm onsteads, elegant cottages, 


ruined towers, and fortlets of the border chivalry. 
Clumps of natural wood are occasionally to be seen 
on its margins and on the hillsides. The channel of 
the Jed is in its upper parts composed of greywacke ; 
but as it descends it enters upon the red sand forma- 
tion, lying unconformably upon the greywacke, and 
with which most of the hills about Jedburgh are 
girded. In its passage through this formation it often 
cuts into and exposes the old rock below. Its channel 
is therefore in some places rough, filled with slabs of 
sand stones, and large boulders. Salmon also visit 
this river in the breeding season, and the trouts 
are of good quality. About fifteen years ago the 
trouts in the river were nearly destroyed by the 
refuse of a lime kiln accidentally mixing with one of 
the small streamlets which enters the Jed near its 
source, and it is said by anglers that the river has 
not been so well stocked since ; but it is thought that 
the secret of the scarcity of trouts is to be found in 
the net- poaching rather than in any lasting injury 
sustained from lime. 

Thomson refers to this river while taking a roman- 
tic view of Caledonia ; " her airy mountains ; her fo- 
rests huge ; her azure lakes ; her fertile vales," 

" With many a cool translucent brimming flood, 

Washed lovely from the Tweed, (pure parent stream, 
Whose pastoral banks first heard my doric reed, 
With sylvan Jed, thy tributary brook.") 

Dr Leyden, while recollecting "his Scenes of In- 
fancy," thus fondly writes, 


" To thee, fair Jed ! a holier wreath is due, 

Who gav'st thy Thomson all thy scenes to view, 

Bad'st forms of beauty en his vision roll, 

And mould to harmony his ductile soul ; 

Till fancy's pictures rose as nature bright, 

And his warm bosom glow'd with heavenly light." 

The Rule derives its name from the British Rhull, 
which means to move briskly what breaks out, a name 
very descriptive of that stream. It rises from three 
sources in the border mountains. One of these, 
Wauchopeburn, rises near Robertslinn in the northern 
declivity of the Fannahill, and descends by the north 
of VVindburgh mountain, Wauchopehead, Wauchope, 
and Tythhouse, where it meets with Harrot-burn, 
the wester source of the Rule, and rises in Lurgys- 
cleuch. The easter branch is called the Catlee-burn, 
and rises from Fannahill and Needslaw, descending 
by Hyndlee, Wolfhopelee, Floors, Wolflee, to Black- 
cleuch mouth, where it meets with the united waters 
of Wauchope and Harrot. It then, under the name 
of Rule, sweeps round Hobkirk, passes to the west of 
Bonchesterhill, then to the east of Ruberslaw over a 
rocky channel, through well-wooded banks, and after 
a rapid course of twelve miles, joins its waters with 
the Teviot a little below Spittal. Salmon visit this 
river periodically, and it also abounds in fine trouts. 

Slitrig rises from four sources in the mountains. 
One of these sources is near to Robertslinn, where the 
Rule takes its rise ; the second at the east of the 
Leapsteel. Both of these unite at Langburnshiels, and 
flow to Shankend. Another source is to the east 
of Maiden-Paps, and runs to Langside; and the 


the other rises near Hawkhass, and descends to Lang- 
side, and from thence to Shankend. These waters then 
take the name of Slitrig, and flow by Stobbs, the 
seat of Sir William Eliott, and thence by Oollieford- 
hill through the ridge of hills to Hawick, where it 
joins the Teviot near the centre of the town. The 
name has not been imposed by the original people 
who lived in the district, but by the Scoto-Saxons 
who came in upon the Romanized Gadeni. The 
name is descriptive of its passage through the hills. 
The Saxon slitan means a narrow cut or cleft, and 
rig — a back or line of high ground. Hence Slitrig 
just signifies the stream which runs through a 
narrow opening or slit in the rig or ridge of hills ; a 
name which truly describes the path of this mountain 
torrent throughout its whole course. No doubt the 
name of Hawick was imposed by the same people, 
and about the same period. The Slitrig is a wild and 
unruly river, at times it rushes from between the 
mountains with great force, and sends its waters down 
a " foaming tide' 1 upon the town. An account of 
one of these bursts is preserved in the annual register. 
" On the 5th of August 1767, the river Siitterick which 
runs through Hawick in Scotland, rose to an uncom- 
mon height, without any extraordinary rain falling 
that day, or for some days before, and the river 
Teviot was then fordable. It began to rise about 
four o'clock in the afternoon, and continued increas- 
ing till after six, when the water was 22 feet higher 
than usual. The consternation of the town's people 
is scarce to be conceived, for the water rushed into 


the streets with inexpressible violence, threatening 
universal desolation. Fifteen dwelling houses, with 
the corn mill at the end of the town, were swept away, 
and the very rock on which they were founded wash- 
ed so clean, that not a bit of rubbish or vestige of a 
building was left. As no human assistance could 
avail, the minister of the place called the inhabitants 
to church, to supplicate heaven to avert the judgment 
that seemed to threaten them. At the height of 
the flood, a servant maid belonging to a merchant of 
the town, recollected that her master had in the house 
(which was then surrounded with water,) about ^300 
in gold. Her master being from home, she acquainted 
the neighbours, and begged their assistance to recover 
it, but none of them would venture ; upon which the 
girl herself waded boldly into the house, and got hold 
of the bag with the money, but on coming out she 
was carried down by the stream. Providence how- 
ever interposed for her safety. She was cast ashore 
on a green a little below the town, just alive, and 
the money grasped in both her hands so fast, that 
with some difficulty it was removed. A little above the 
town three houses were quite covered with water, 
except the chimney tops ; they were in an eddy, 
which saved them. 11 It is related of a person who had 
been at St. James's fair on that day, that while re- 
turning home he observed articles of his household 
plenishing floating in the Teviot several miles below 
Hawick ; of another that he found his own sign board 
lying on the banks of that river, a considerable dis- 
tance from his home. It is recorded in the History 


of Hawick, that "a bed was carried down the stream 
and placed upon the haugh, on the northside of the 
Teviot. In the bed lay a cat, which it is said had 
the good fortune not to wet her feet during a perilous 
voyage in that temporary sea. The female owner 
of this cat is also celebrated in the recollections of 
that day. After the flood had commenced its rav- 
ages, and the tenement in which this matron dwelt 
was mouldering down among the waves, she clung 
with amazonian resolution to the crooktree^ and re- 
fused to be removed, exclaiming " that it was the 
house of her father and her father's father, and she 
had made up her mind to share its fate." The poor 
woman was scarcely forced outside the threshold, 
when the patrimonial inheritance of her family 
disappeared in the water. 1 ' The flood lasted only 
about four hours and a half, and at the end of that 
time it had fallen nearly to its usual size. It is 
stated that the east end of the " Auld Brigg," and 
most of the Town Records were carried away by the 
flood. The annalist of Hawick thinks that George 
Douglas, bishop of Dunkeld — who was at one time 
rector of Hawick— had witnessed a similar freak of 
this river, and that he refers to it in the following 
passage : — 

" Affrayit I glisnit of slepe, and sterte on fete ; 
Syne to the hous hede ascend anone, 
With eris prest stude thare, als styll as stone : 
Ane sound or swanck I heard thare at the last, 
Like quhen the fire be felloun wyndis blast, 
Is driven amyd the flttt of cornes rank, 
Or quhen the burne on spait hurlis doun the bank, 


Uthir throw ane watter brek or spait of flude, 

Ryvand up rede erd as it war wod ; 

Down dingand comes all the pluch labor attains, 

And driuis on stiffly stokkis, treis, and stanis : 

The silly bird seand this grisly sycht, 

Set on ane pennakill of sum cragis hicht, 

All abasit, not knawand quhat this may mene, 

Wounderis of the sound and ferly that he has sene." 

Leyden also, in recollecting " black haunted Slata," 
sings of the eruption of 1767 : 

'• The might; torrent, foaming down the hills, 
Call'd with strong voice on all her subject rills ; 
Rocks drove on jagged rocks with thundering sound, 
And the red waves impatient rent their mound ; 
On Hawick burst the flood's resistless sway, 
Plough 'd the paved streets, and tore the walls away, 
Floated high roofs, from whelming fabrics torn ; 
While pillar'd arches down the wave were borne." 

The tradition of the district relates that this burst 
of the river was caused by a shepherd casting a stone 
into a lake on Windburgh mountain, believed to be 
the resort of fairies, and the stone having disturbed 
the revels of the spirits, the sides of the mountain 
opened and sent down the waters of the lake on the 
town of Hawick Leyden remarks, in a note to his 
poem on this part of his Scenes of Infancy, that " lakes 
and pits on the tops of mountains are regarded in the 
border with a degree of superstitious horror, as the 
porches or entrances of the subterraneous habitations 
of the fairies ; from which, confused murmurs, the 
cries of children, moaning voices, the ringing of bells, 
and the sounds of musical instruments are often sup- 
posed to be heard. Round these hills the green fairy 


circles are believed to wind in a spiral direction, till 
they reach the descent to the central cavern ; so that 
if the unwary traveller be benighted on the charmed 
ground, he is inevitably conducted by an invisible 
power to the fearful descent." Fifty years before 
Leyden wrote his poem, such superstitious notions 
were prevalent on the borders, but they are num- 
bered with the past, and it is now rare to hear even 
the aged relate a fairy legend. 

In 1846 the waters of the Slitrig again rose to a 
great height. The storm occurred during the night, 
and the inhabitants were aroused from their slumbers 
by the ringing of the alarm bells. The waters inun- 
dated a part of the town, and flowed in a strong cur- 
rent across the Market-place, and down the Mill- 
wynd to the Teviot. When the waters abated, large 
trees were left in the Market-place, which had been 
brought there by the force of the stream. The 
waters were nearly as high as in the flood of 1767. 
This flood is noticed in one of the competing poems 
on the "Auld Brigg" : 

" We all have heard the thunder's roar, 
The rattling rains in torrents pour, 
The waters wild and sullen dash, 
And seen the vivid lightnings' flash 
Athwart the midnight gloom ; 
When thou, Auld Brig, so firmly stood 
The fury of the second flood." 

The Allan claims two sources in the parish of 
Cavers; one at M oorpatrick-s wire, near Priesthaugh- 
shiel, and the other in Tudhope-hill, both uniting 
near Skelf-hill and Priesthaugh, where it is crossed 


by the Catrail. It then runs by Burgh-hill, Dodburn, 
and after a short course of six miles, joins the Teviot 
at Newmill, four miles above Hawick. The region 
through which it passes is entirely pastoral. Like 
the Alwain, which flows into the Tweed at the Girth- 
gate, near Melrose, it derives its name from the Bri- 
tish Al-wen, from the clearness of its waters. 

It may be noticed, that all these rivers which 
pour their waters into the Teviot from the south, rise 
near to each other ; the Oxnam and Cayle within a 
mile ; the easter source of the Jed about six miles 
from Oxnam ; the wester source of the Jed is distant 
about a mile from the easter source of the Rule ; the 
wester source of the Rule not more than a mile from 
where the Slitrig rises on the east; and the Allan is 
scarcely a mile from the Slitrig. 

On the north the Teviot has two tributaries, the 
Borthwick and the Ale. The Borthwick rises in 
Oaickmuir, on the southeast extremity of Selkirk- 
shire, and flows for thirteen miles through a pastoral 
region to the Teviot, near to where the ruins of 
Goudielands tower stand. The name of Borthwick is 
derived from the Anglo-Saxon, signifying a castle or 
village on the brink or border. Borthwick is not 
therefore the name of the river originally, but as- 
sumed from the castle or town on its bank. ' The 
whole of the country through which the river runs 
was in former times inhabited by a race of Scotts, re- 
tainers of the powerful family of Harden — 

" A hardy race, who never shrunk from war, 
The Scott, to rival realms a mighty bar, 


Here fix'd his mountain home ; a wide domain, 
And rich the soil, had purple heath been grain." 

The Ale, which obtains its name from the British 
Al, takes its rise an the King's- Moorloch, in the 
county of Selkirk. After running a short way in that 
county, it enters Roxburghshire, in which it runs two 
miles, then leaves it for Selkirkshire, in which it runs 
two miles, and returns to the county of Roxburgh, a 
mile above Whitslaid, through which it courses about 
twenty miles, mingling its waters with the Teviot 
below Ancrum. At the source of the river, and down 
nearly to Ashkirk, a great deal of the land is wet and 
spongy, but after passing that place it courses through 
bare haughs, till it reaches Riddell, near Lilliesleaf, 
where its banks are well cultivated, and for the most 
part clothed with belts and clumps of plantations 
judiciously arranged. It then winds eastward by 
Linthill and Cavers, where its banks are very pic- 
turesque. At Birsislees the river seems inclined to 
run straight east and join the Tweed, but turns and 
runs above half-a-mile west in the direction of Beulie, 
after which it bends to the southeast by Longnewton 
and Belses-mills for Ancrum. Between Ashyburn 
and Ancrum it passes through scenes of rare beauty; 
Kirklands occupying a fine situation on the west 
bank; Ancrum, the seat of Sir William Scott, looking 
lovely from amid the foliage of the stately old wood 
with which the domain is adorned. Here are caves 
in the precipitous red sandstone banks, in one of 
which Thomson tuned his doric reed. Within the 
bend of the river formerly stood a building, belonging 


to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, but the oc- 
cupiers of the land have been at great pains to remove 
any evidence of 

u Each ivied spire and sculptured fretted court, 
Where palmy templars held their gay resort ; 
Spread their croas banners in the sun to shine, 
And called green Teviot's youth to Palestine." 

The Ale is an excellent trouting stream, and sal- 
mon, during the spawning season, visit the higher 
parts of it. 

In the spirited sketch of the ride of William of 
Deloraine from Branksome to Melrose, the passage 
of the Ale is thus described : 

" Unchallenged, thence passed Deloraine, 
To ancient Riddell's fair domain, 

Where Aill, from mountains freed, 
Down from the lakes did raving come ; 
Each wave was crested with tawny foam, 

Like the mane of a chestnut steed." 

And Leyden, while comparing Dena's vale with An- 
crum groves — 

" Where Alna, bursting from her moorish springs, 
O'er many a cliff her swelling torrent flings." 

It was one of the superstitions of the district, that 
the lake whence this stream issues was the residence 
of the water cow ; and tradition relates, that while a 
mother and child were walking near the banks of the 
lake, an eagle from a neighbouring brake seized the 
infant, and dropped it into the waters. The incident 
is alluded to by Leyden in his beautiful poem — 

" Sad is the wail that floats o'er Alemoor's lake, 
And nightly bids her gulfs unbottom'd quake, 


While moonbeams, sailing o'er her waters blue, 
Reveal the pregnant tinge of blood-red hue. 
The water birds, with shrill discordant scream, 
Oft rouse the peasant from his tranquil dream : 
He dreads to raise his slow unclosing eye, 
And thinks he hears an infant's feeble cry. 
The timid mother, clasping to her breast 
Her starting child, by closer arms carest, 
Hushes, with soothing voice, his murmuring wail, 
And sighs to think of poor Eugenia's tale." 

The Bowmont, anciently written Bolbent, has six 
sources in the Cheviot mountains ; two of these rise 
in Chillhill, and unite a little below Sourhope ; one at 
Arkhopecairn and another on Cocklaw, which meet 
at Cocklawfoqt and run into the fifth, which rises in 
Windygate-hill and proceeds by Kelsocleuch ; the 
sixth on the southwest side of Windygate-hill, and 
descends by Calroust, and mixes with the other stream 
half-a-mile above Mowhaugh. It then passes Bel- 
ford, the ruins of Mowkirk, and Attonburn, where 
it receives a small rivulet; the Cove, Oxnamside, 
Woodside, Clifton, and between the two Yetholms to 
Shottonburn, where it leaves Scotland and proceeds 
eastward to the Tweed. About nine miles below Yet- 
holm it receives the waters of the Colledge, a mountain 
stream, after which the united waters take the name 
of Glen, and enter the Till at Ewart. Above Yetholm 
the river runs rapidly, and in spates overflows the 
haughlands in its course, doing considerable damage 
to the crops. For nearly its whole course in Scotland 
it is confined by mountains, which, in places where 
they can be cultivated at their base, produce excel- 


lent crops ; but near its source the surface is too 
bold to submit to the plough, and too much exposed 
for the production of corn. The pastures are, how- 
ever, very fine, close, and sweet. It is a good trout- 
ing stream. In several of the ancient charters it is 
written Bolbent, and it is supposed by several that 
it owes its name to the manner in which it curves 
round some of the mounts of Cheviot ; but this opin- 
ion is evidently erroneous, as the river, instead of 
making such remarkable curvatures as to impose 
a name upon it, is one of the straightest running 
streams in the district. It is thought, that the mo- 
dern name is derived from the French Beaumont, and 
signifies fair or beautiful mounts : i. e. the river which 
runs by the beautiful mountains. There are several 
places in England bearing the same appellation : 
Beaumont — Fairmount, a village in Cumberland : In 
Devonshire, Beauchamp, a fair field : Beaumaris — • 
Fairmarsh, a town of Anglesea: Beaulieu, a fair place, 
a village of Hampshire, and Beaupori — fair port, in 
Northumberland. It is clear that the name is un- 
connected with the river, or any quality possessed 
by it. 

The Eden derives its name from our British fore- 
fathers, and signifies the gliding stream. It enters 
the county of Roxburgh near to where it receives the 
waters of the Pinchburn, and glides into the river 
Tweed, within half a mile of the confines of the 
county. In its course it tumbles over a rock about 
forty feet high. Thomson, the author of the varied 
year, was born upon its banks. Eden was recollected 


by Burns when addressing the shade of Thomson on 
crowning his bust with bays. 

" While virgin Spring by Eden's flood, 
Unfolds her tender mantle green." 

The Leader river has its source in the southern 
declivity of the Soltra, one of the western hills of the 
Lammermuir range, and flows through its own dale 
to the river Tweed, which it enters at Dry grange. 
It touches the county of Roxburgh a little below St. 
Leonards, and again near Carolside. It runs through 
Earlston haugh, passing the village of that name- — the 
burying ground of which holds " Auld Rhymer's race." 
Shortly after leaving Earlston the river arrives at 
Cowdenknows, celebrated in Scottish song. It is 
noticed' by Ramsay : 

" Our Jenny sings saftly the Cowdenbroom Knowes, 
And Rosy lilts sweetly the milking the ewes." 

Crawford, in his lyric poem, speaks — 

" O the broom, and the bonny bonny broom, 
And the broom of the Cowdenknowes; 
And aye sae sweet the lassie sang, 
I' the bought milking the ewes. 

The hills were high on ilka side, 
An' the bought i' the lirk o' the hill ; 
And aye as she sang, her voice it rang 
Out o'er the head o' yon hill." 

The house of the Cowdenknowes is situated on the 
east bank of the Leader, overlooking the rich haugh 
land, and the picturesque banks, celebrated for " its 
bonny broom," which, before cultivation tore up the 
natural soil, attained such an altitude, that a man 


on horseback could have passed unseen among the 

It is maintained by some that the Leader is a cor- 
ruption of Laidur, which means the lesser water often 
discoloured. By the lesser water, it is meant that 
it is less than the Tweed, which it enters at Dry- 
grange, and the colour is descriptive of its appear- 
ance ; when flooded, the soil through which it passes 
being of that kind liable to tinge the waters of the 
river. Others contend that the ancient name is Leder, 
and signifies the stream which breaks out or overflows, 
and that this derivation is consistent with circum- 
stances ; it is alleged of the Leader, that after the 
melting of snow or the falling of rain, it overflows its 
banks and sweeps away mills and bridges. Both 
etymons are consistent with the circumstances — the 
first, however, is peculiar to the Leader, and the 
latter to all the mountain streams of the district. 
The Leader was the parent stream of one whose 
name is as familiar in the border land as a household 
word — Thomas the Rhymer. Thomas and his son 
held a part of the lands of Erceldun, under the Earl 
of Dunbar. A tower on the east bank of the river 
has long been pointed out as the ancient hall of the 
Rhymer, where in former days the feast was spread 
" for knights of great renown, and " ladies laced in 
pall/ 1 Sir "Walter Scott, while commemorating the 
Rhymer's poetical fame, and his return to the fairy 
land, thus speaks of the river : 

" And Leader's waves like silver sheen, 
Danced shimmering in the ray." 


The Allan or Alwyn, a name denoting the bright- 
ness of its waters, rises near to Allanshaws, in the 
northern extremity of that portion of the district, 
which projects northward between the Gala and 
Leader. It descends between Wooplaw and Threep- 
wood, by Colmsliehill, Oohnslie, Nether Langshaw, 
Calf hill, and joins the Tweed near Westhouses. 
The whole region through which this river flows was 
formerly a forest, and on which many a stately steed 
was pastured. The monks of Melrose had an exten- 
sive dairy at Colmslie, and they also had at times 
600 mares and horses, young and old, in the forest. 
But this river derives its principal interest from 
part of the district which it drains, being supposed to 
be the home of the Grlendinnings of the Monastery. 
Taking into account the changes that have taken 
place on the face of the country by improvements 
in agriculture, there can be little doubt that this is 
the true Glendearg of the Monastery. Casting our 
thoughts backwards to the days when the monastery 
flourished, and when the sides of the river were 
covered with thickets of oak and birch, we find it 
agree with the minute description of the locality of 
Halbert's home, described by the master pen of Sir 
Walter Scott. We find that to travel up the bottom 
of that glen, down which the waters of the Allan 
gurgle, it is absolutely necessary to cross and recross 
the eccentric stream, as it juts from rock to rock 
in that narrow valley. The banks too on each side 
are steep, and rise boldly over the imprisoned stream. 
The hills also rise at some places abruptly " over 


the little glen" displaying at intervals the grey rock 
overhung with wood.; and further up rises the " moun- 
tain in purple majesty, the dark rich hue contrast- 
ing beautifully with the thickets of oak and birch, the 
mountain ashe^ and thorns, and alders, and quivering 
aspens, which chequered and varied the descent, and 
not less with the dark velvet turf, which composed 
the level part of the narrow glen.'"' The Girthgate 
runs up the valley of Allan, and over the moors to 
the sanctuary at Soltra. 

The Gala has its source in the Moorfoot range of 
hills, and takes the name of Gala after receiving the 
stream of Herriot. It then flows southward by the 
Stow, through a valley which in ancient times, as 
already noticed, bore the name of Waedale, to the 
Tweed a little below Galashiels. The river enters 
the county at Crosslee, at which place it is 380 feet 
above the level of the sea, and falls, in its short 
course of about six miles, 10b' feet. The river derives 
its name from the British Gwala, a full stream. In 
a charter of David to the monks of Melrose, it is 
written Galche. In the charters of William the Lion 
it is spelled Galche and Galue. Alexander II. called 
it Galue when he bestowed privileges on the monks 
of Melrose. 

Burns sings, 

" But Yarrow braes nor Ettrick shaws 
Can match the lads of Gala water." 

Liddesdale is drained by the Liddell, the Hermi- 
tage, and other streams. 


The Liddel takes its rise between Needslaw and 
Carlintooth mountains, at a place about a quarter of 
a mile distant from the source of the Jed. It de- 
scends by Peel to Bagrawfoord, where it is crossed by 
the Wheelcauseway, and from thence by Seefeu, Hud- 
houses, Saughtree, Burnmouth, and Dinlabyre, to 
Westburnflat, where it is swelled by the waters of 
the Hermitage. It then proceeds by the village of 
Oastleton, and Mangerton, passing about a mile to 
the west of Carbyhill, thence to Netherburnmouth, 
near to where Kershope water on the east, and Tinnis 
on the west, flow into it. The river then runs 
through a well cultivated country, forming in its wan- 
dering course the boundary of the two kingdoms, till 
it leaves this county at Liddelbank. The greater 
part of the course of the river is through a high 
bleak region, very different in character from the 
mountains of Teviotdale, which, although as greatly 
elevated, are dry and covered with fine grasses. The 
ancient name of the river was Lid, and so named by 
our British forefathers to denote the way in which it 
gushed over its rough rocky channel. The name is 
certainly descriptive of its character during the upper 
part of its course ; but as it gains the lower grounds 
it rather glides along than gushes out. The modern 
name of Liddel or Liddal, includes both the name of 
the stream and the dale or del through which it flows. 
The addition of dale to Liddel is a pleonasm, del and 
dale, meaning the same thing. The river was writ- 
ten Lid in 1616- Drummond of Hawthornden, in 
his Forth-feasting, sings of " Lid with curled streams ;" 


and John Armstrong, the physician and poet, born 
on its banks, describes it as 

The crystal rivulet, that o'er 

A stony channel rolls its rapid maze, 
Swarms with the silvery fry. 

And such the stream 

On whose Arcadian hanks I first drew air, 
Liddell, till now, except in doric lays, 
Tun'd to her murmurs by her lovesick swains, 
Unknown in song: tho' not a purer stream, 
Thro' meads more flowery, or more romantic groves, 
Rolls toward the western main. Hail, sacred flood ! 
May still thy hospitable swains be blest 
In rural innocence; thy mountains still 
Teem with the fleecy race ; thy tuneful woods 
For ever flourish ; and thy vales look gay 
With painted meadows, and the golden grain ! 
Oft, with thy blooming sons, when life was new, 
Sportive, and petulant, and charm'd with toys, 
In thy transparent eddies have 1 laved: 
Oft trac'd with patient steps thy fairy banks, 
With the well-imitated fly to hook 
The eager trout, and with the slender line 
And yielding rod, solicit to the shore 
The struggling, panting prey , while vernal clouds 
And tepid gales obscur'd the ruffled pool, 
And from the deeps call'd forth the wanton swarms." 

The Hermitage has two principal sources, one in 
Millenwoodfell, and runs by Twiselhope to , Bill- 
hopefoot, where it meets the other, which has its 
origin in Tudhope-hill, near the source of the Allan 
water, and descends by Billhope to Billhopefoot. 
The united streams then run by Gorranberry, where 
it receives the w r aters of a rivulet which rises in the 
Greatmoorhills, and a few miles farther on it arrives 


at Hermitage castle. Near to the castle is the " Cout 

of Keeldar's Pool," in which the Cumberland giant is 

said to have been held down by Scottish spears till 

he was drowned : 

" And now young Keeldar reach 'd the stream, 
Above the foamy lin ; 
The Border lances round him gleam, 
And force the warrior in. 

The holly floated to the side, 

And the leaf of the rowan pale ; 
Alas ! no spell could charm the tide, 

Nor the lance of Liddesdale." 

After passing the castle the river receives the Sund- 
hopeburn, and at Shaws the Roughlee-burn flows into 
it. It then runs by Millburnholm to Westburnflat, 
where it loses its waters and name in that of Lid dell. 
During its whole -course the Hermitage flows through 
scenes wild and desolate, and only interesting from 
the strange events with which they were connected. 
The river is supposed to have derived its name from 
the cell of a hermit situated on the Merchelyburn. 
The Hermitage, Church, and twenty-six acres of 
land, belonged to the monks of Kelso. The castle, 
which subsequently arose near to this solitary spot, 
took its name from the Hermitage, and in the course 
of time the appellation of Merchelye and Merchelye- 
burn disappeared, and the locality and stream assum- 
ed the name of Hermitage, which they now retain. 

The Kershope, which derives its name from the 
marshy land through which it flows, is only worthy of 
notice on account of its being the well contested 
boundary between the two kingdoms. 


On the west the Tinnis rises in the hill of that 
name, and flows by Whisgills to the Netherburn- 
mouth, where it enters Liddel. Blackburn merits 
notice on account of its cataracts ; one of these being 
twenty, another thirty one, and a third twenty-seven 
feet wide. The vale through which the rivulet flows 
is beautiful; but the greatest curiosity of Blackburn 
was a natural bridge of stone, which stretched obli- 
quely across the stream, connecting the banks on each 
side. The length of the bridge is said to have been 
55 feet, ten feet broad, the depth of the arch two feet 
four inches, and from the surface of the water to 
the lower part of the arch about six feet. Owing to 
the repeated encroachments of the stream it had been 
considerably weakened, and in 1810 it gave way, and 
became a heap of ruins. 

Several other small rivulets or burns run in all 
directions, and in their passage through the district 
form many beautiful windings. In the neighbourhood 
of Melrose is the Bogle-burn or Goblin-brook, which 
rises at the base of the Eildon-hilJs, and meanders by 
Ravenswood to the river Tweed, a little above where 
the old abbey stood. This locality is famous for 
being the scene where Thomas the Rhymer delivered 
his prophecies, and where he was met by the queen 
of fair Elfland. 

" True Thomas lay on Huntly bank, 

A ferlie he spied wi' his e'e, 
And there he saw a ladye bright 

Come riding by tbe Eildon tree." 

Wooden-burn, which flows into the Tweed nearly 


opposite to Kelso, has been celebrated by the classic 
pen of General Walker, a distinguished soldier, who 
lived long in the district. 

" Grant me this boon, the last I crave ;— 
If my lost love should ere return, 
Direct her steps, to find my grave, 
Among the braes ol* VVoodenburn." 

Houy, a native of Kelso, sweetly sings of one of the 
Lins of Wooden-burn : 

" I'll meet thee, love, if thou'lt go down 
By Wooden's soft and shady grove — 
I'll meet thee, when the silent moon 

Brings round the hour which maidens love. 

I'll wait for thee, love, when the glow 

Of twilight leaves the hazel dell, 
And well my beating heart shall know 

The fairy step I love so well. 

There exists no evidence of any great floods previ- 
ous to May 1782. At that time it is said the waters 
of the district were greatly swollen, but we have not 
been able to discover any particular notices regarding 
it. The next extraordinary rising of the waters was 
in October 1797, when the bridge over the Tweed 
was swept away by the flood. The storm began 
about six o'clock on the evening of Friday, and con- 
tinued during the whole night with great violence. 
" On Saturday morning the Teviot overflowed the 
island below Maxwellheugh mill by itself, and the 
mill dam together with the public road from Teviot 
Bridge to the Bridge over the Tweed, as well as 
a considerable portion of the adjoining fields. The 
island in the Tweed, at its confluence with the 


Teviot, was so deeply laid under water, that the 
trunks of the trees growing on it were half im- 
mersed ; whilst an immense body of water from 
both rivers descended with great velocity towards 
Kelso Bridge, rose very high behind the piers 
of the arches, and overflowed the banks below on 
both sides, inundating the road and fields from the 
bridge to Maxwellheugh-mill, forming altogether a 
spectacle truly sublime. It was observed early in 
the morning that the third and fourth arches had 
sunk a little below their usual level ; from which it 
was concluded that the foundation had been com- 
pletely undermined, and that of consequence these 
arches might be every hour expected to fall. Business 
or curiosity, however, induced a great number of 
people, most of whom had been warned of their dan- 
ger, to pass the bridge on horseback and on foot. 
About twelve o'clock noon a great number of persons 
belonging to the town, as well as many of the ladies 
and gentlemen connected with the Caledonian Hunt, 
assembled at the east end of the bridge, and on the 
adjoining ground, for the purpose of witnessing the 
event, which, from the evident sinking of the. two 
arches, was every instant expected to take place. At 
this time two men were rash enough to pass the 
bridge on horseback for Kelso, though strongly urged 
to desist. Many persons now made signals, and 
called loudly for the return of some foot passengers, 
whom curiosity had led to the opposite end of the 
bridge, and among whom were Colonel Baird of New- 
byth, and Colonel Hamilton, Wishaw. They remain- 


ed, however, apparently ignorant of their danger, till 
a young man, whose brother was among the number, 
rushed forward almost to the middle of the bridge, 
exclaiming, in violent agitation, ' The bridge is fall- 
ing T His brother and another relation were the 
only two who ventured to return, while they felt the 
bridge shaking under their feet. The rest continued 
on the other side. In less than five minutes the two 
arches sunk very fast ; a rent, which was formed at 
the bottom of the lower side of the pier, which sup- 
ported them, widened rapidly, and some large stones 
separated and tumbled from the top of the parapet into 
the river. In an instant the pier fell to pieces, the two 
arches sprang together, and their disjointed materials 
sunk almost wholly beneath the water in the twink- 
ling of an eye. The foam ascended to a great height 
all around, and the water was dashed on either shore 
beyond its former limits for a considerable way down- 
wards; whilst the agitated countenances of the anxious 
spectators greatly increased the awful solemnity of 
the scene. Fourteen persons, among whom were the 
two gentlemen already mentioned, and five young 
boys, now remained for three hours at the west end 
of the bridge, but were at length rescued from their 
disagreeable situation by the exertions of the people 
of Maxwellheugh. 11 * This storm of rain and wind 
raged throughout the whole district, and each river 
and stream contributed its full share of angry waters 
to the general flood. 

• Article, written by Mr James Ballantyne, in Kelso Mail of 
October 23, 1797. 


The next great rising of the waters of the district 
happened in the month of February 1831, and was 
caused by the melting of the snow. The waters of 
this flood elevated the Tweed at Kelso to about four- 
teen feet above its usual level. Although consider- 
ably higher than the flood of 1797, it does not appear 
to have committed any serious ravages during its 
existence. Another flood occurred in September 
1839. On this occasion the Teviot and her tributaries 
did not rise within four feet of the flood in 1831, but 
the Tweed by itself nearly equalled the height of that 
flood. Great injury was done to the crops on the 
haughlands, especially on the banks of the Tweed ; 
and two bridges which were in the course of erection 
at Merton and Norham suffered serious damages. 
About the end of July ] 846, the waters of Teviot- 
dale rose higher than they ever did at any previous 
period of which there is any account. The rain began 
to fall during the night, and by the morning from 
every mountain and mossy wild, a resistless roaring 
torrent thundered down into the valley of the Teviot. 
The waters of the Tweed were not swollen to an equal 
height, but the united rivers exceeded any previous 

Within a century the river Teviot has twice ceased 
to flow. The first time this phenomenon occurred was 
about 1779, when the grandmother of Mr Ebenezer 
Hardie, merchant in Kelso, picked up a gold ring 
from the centre of the channel, about one hundred 
yards from where it joins with the Tweed. The se- 
cond instance took place on the 27th November 1838, 


at which time so complete was the stoppage of the 
current, that trouts were taken by the hand in several 
shallow pools opposite Maxwellheugh-mill, and the 
bed of the river could be passed dryshod.* It is said 
of the rivers Nith and Clyde that their streams stopt 
simultaneously. It was supposed at the time that 
some internal convulsion had occurred which caused 
the current to stop ; but had such been the cause, it 
would also have affected the Tweed at the same place. 
Probably the severe frost of that day may have pro- 
duced a momentary check to the currents of the river. 
Twice in the course of a century the ice has been so 
strong as to admit of the inhabitants of Kelso holding 
a festival on it ; the first about 1 764, and the last in 
January 1814. One of the toasts given on the last 
occasion was " Both sides of the Tweed, and God 
preserve us in the middle of it." 

Nothing can be more instructive of the changes 
that have taken place during the last eighty years 
than an examination of its rivers and streams, as 
these are laid down on the old maps of this district. 
Glancing the eye along the windings of the Tweed, 
as shown on a map, nearly ninety years old, the 
only bridge which appears on the river is the old one 
at Kelso. It seems to have been crossed by boats, 
and these limited in number. Between Kelso and 
the mouth of the Gala there were three ferries— one 
at Rutherford, another at Drygrange, and the third 
at Gateside, near Darnick. Between Kelso and the 

• Kelso Records, p. 163-1. 


country to the west of the river Teviofc, communication 
was by a boat which ply eel on the Tweed above the 
mouth of the Teviot. Within the same distance 
there were several fords, but these could only be used 
when the water was ebb. In those days the beds of 
rivers were deep and dangerous, and a journey across 
the country was often delayed for weeks on account 
of the state of the fords. Even in the best seasons 
accidents were constantly happening at both ford and 
ferry. At Gateside ferry a very sad catastrophe oc- 
curred in 1735. It was on a Melrose fair morning, 
and the boat was crowded with men, women, and 
horses, going to the market. The river being flooded 
at the time, the boat broke from its moorings, and 
was swept with great rapidity down the stream. 
Whilst in the middle of the river it struck against a 
jock and was split to pieces. Twenty people were 
drowned. Ten saved themselves by clinging to the 
mane of a powerful horse, which landed them all 
in safety.* The dangers and inconveniences of 
passage were greatly increased in the smaller 
i i vers and streams, on which there were no ferry 

* The bridge, which came in the place of the ferry boat, was the 
scene, of a remarkable feat performed by a person named Car- 
nitines, a strapper to one of the daily coaches which then travelled 
the road. He bad been at Melrose fair, and was returning home 
with several companions at rather a r.ipid rate. The road which 
goes up the river side abruptly turns upon the bridge, and OarrutheiV 
horse being restive, he pulled hard to prevent the animal running 
against the upper parapet, on which the brute turned round and 
bounded over the lower parapet into the river, with Carruthers on hi* 
back, a height of at least fifty feet. Neither Mere hurt. 


boats. But matters are changed for the better. At 
the present day there is an excellent stone bridge at 
Gateside ; and within a mile farther down an elegant 
suspension bridge connects Melrose and Gattonside. 
A stone bridge of five arches — the middle oneof which is 
105 feet — spans the river at Drygrange. This bridge 
was built by a common mason, at Newstead, for less 
than i?1500, and the taste of it is said to equal its 
ingenuity. At Merton a bridge was built in 1839, 
and added greatly to the facility of communication 
between the east and west portions of the district. 

At the time spoken of, the inhabitants of Teviotdale 
had few means of passing from one side of the river 
to the other. Ancrum bridge was the only one which 
existed between the Tweed and Hawick. It, no 
doubt, owed its origin to being in the line of commu- 
nication between Edinburgh and Jedburgh — a road 
which the llomans formed, and which our early kings, 
who loved the borders well, delighted to travel. The 
burden of repairing this bridge rested on the commu- 
nity of Jedburgh. Before proper roads were formed the 
royal burghs were charged with keeping up the princi- 
pal communications with Edinburgh, where commercial 
concerns frequently called the burghers. The bridge 
was originally of wood, and often needed repair. In 
regard to these, there are notices so far back as the 
sixteenth century, and from which we learn that, owing 
to the kindness of the proprietor of Timpendean to 
the magistrates and community of Jedburgh, while 
engaged in repairing the bridge, the town council 
exempted from the small customs the goods and 


produce of the lands of Timpendean, Weaseldean, 
and Broomhall, in all time coming, that " they 
might be in some measure entitled to demand the like 
when the said bridge comes to be repaired." The only 
other bridge on the river seems to have been one be- 
tween Hawick and Wilton, the " ki" stone of which 
was perfected and closed in July 1741.* Now a 
bridge of three arches erected in 1794, spans the 
Teviot near to its junction with the Tweed ; a bridge 
for foot passengers is attached to the railway viaduct 
at Roxburgh ; an elegant suspension bridge crosses 
the river at Cayle water foot, erected by the late 
Mr Mein of Ormston, at his own expense for his 
private use, but he soon after opened it to the 
public for a trifling fare, a boon which cannot be 
easily forgot or misused. At Denhohn there is another 

• In Wilson's Annals of Hawick we observe the following notices 
in regard to this bridge :— " 1738. The council subscribe £100 ster- 
ling towards the erection of Teviot Bridge, for which the burgesses 
are also to be stented according to their abilities. A committee is 
afterwards appointed to collect the subscriptions for the bridge. The 
bridge to cost £450, of which the Commissioners of the Duke of 
Buccleuch are to grant bond, before contracting for £250. -» Council 
Records." Mr Wilson adds—" The money is borrowed, which seems 
to have been the origin of the town's debt." 

" 1739 The council agree to a submission, referring the place where 
the bridge over the Teviot at Hawick is to be built, viz., whether at the 
Sandbed, or at Horselj hill's (now Walter's) Wjnd foot, to the decision 
of Sir Gilbert Elliot of Minto, Sir Gilbert Elliot of Stobs, the laird of 
Cavers, elder and younger, Robert Elliot of Midlemilne, Andrew 
Bennet of Chesters, and John Chisholme of Stirches." 

"July 29. — Paid that was spent at the bridge by the bailies' orders 
when the ki stone was perfected and closed. — Treasurer's Books." 


iron bridge ; below the Trow mill one of stone ; there 
are two stone bridges at Hawick, and three above 
that town. 

With the exception of the " Auld Brig" over the 
Slitrig at Hawick, the still older bridge over the Jed 
at the Canongate foot, Jedburgh, and a bridge over 
th3 Leader near to the Rhymer's Tower, all the other 
rivers and streams of the district seem to have been 
destitute of any means of passage for horses, carriages, 
&c. At the present day wherever there is a road, 
a bridge also exists across the stream, at least the 
want of one is now the exception. It is scarcely pos- 
sible for the inhabitants of this day sufficiently to 
estimate the full advantages of such unrestricted 
intercourse with every part of the district which these 
bridges afford. Tolls or pontages may be thought heavy, 
but a glimpse of the past will make the burden ap- 
pear light. In the early times watches were constantly 
kept at the fords to give notice of the enemy, and in 
the old records there are numerous notices of persons 
tried for robberies and higher crimes, at the fords of 
the rivers. The fords of Oayle and Kershope afford 
many illustrations of such practices. The names of 
several of these fords are preserved to us, and are 
very instructive : — thievesford, §c. 

A singular feature of that day is the number of 
corn mills which appear on the smaller rivers and 
streams of the district. On the Allan water, which 
runs into the Tweed, there were two mills ; Bentmill 
and Langshaw mill. On liowmont water, a mill 
appears near its source at the ruins of Mowkirk. On 


the Cayle water, Kirkraw mill, Hownam mill, and 
Heavey-side mill, were on a mile and a half of water at 
Hownamkirk. On Oxnam water, two mills, now 
silent, supplied the men of Henwood. The Jed 
moved in the forest the machinery of three ad- 
ditional mills, not now to be seen on its sylvan 
banks. The like remark applies to almost every 
other stream in the district. Wherever a church was 
planted, it was always accompanied by a mill, and 
frequently a maltkiln, and brewhouse. Where a 
grange existed, a mill was usually found moving on 
the nearest rivulet. The first farms were generally 
in the upland region, where the land was dry and 
free from wood ; but in progress of time as the low 
ground was cleared of trees, and the river courses 
less foul and deep, the soil became comparatively free 
from water, and cultivation appeared at the mouths 
of the various streams and in the valleys. 

This district is unrivalled in the number and the 
quality of its springs. In every nook and corner of 
Teviotdale a fountain of pure water is to be found 
gushing forth. A number of these petrify. Near 
Roxburgh are two springs of this kind ; one of .which 
is said to be so strong as to convert any vegetable 
substance into stone in the course of six months. In 
Minto parish there are springs possessed of the same 
powers of incrustation. On the Tweeden, in Liddes- 
dale, is a spring which is said, by the minister of 
Castleton, to " emit so large a quantity of water that 
considerable masses of petrified matter appear on 
every side, as if it were converted into solid stone ; 


the progress of the petrifaction is distinct and beau- 
tiful ; the fog which grows on the edge of the spring, 
and is sprinkled with the water, is eight inches high, 
while the lower part is converted into solid stone ; 
the middle appears as if it were half frozen, and the 
top is green and flourishing."* ' 

There are also a number of chalybeate and sulphur- 
eous springs in the district, few of which are remark- 
able for their healing powers. Near Jedburgh there 
are two springs of this kind. One is called Tudhope, 
on the top of the hill to the north of the burgh, and 
is said to have been used successfully in scorbutic and 
rheumatic disorders ; but for many years it has been 
seldom resorted to. The other is situated on the 
estate of Stewartfield, about half a mile up the glen 
from the Flour Mill Bridge. Being on the banks of 
the burn, the waters unite in wet weather. In Oxnam 
there is a chalybeate spring said to possess virtue, 
but it is not much used. Near Crailing manse there 
is a similar spring, At Lessudden there is also a 
spring of the same kind in the minister's glebe. In 
Frith muir, near Lilliesleaf, there is a chalybeate 
spring; and another on the farm of Hermiston. 
In various other places of the county there are 
fountains — in times past, of great repute — now 
of little fame, and seldom visited. In Liddesdale 
there are several springs strongly impregnated with 
sulphur. One of these, situated in a morass on the 
farm of Thorlieshope, close on the border, is valuable. 

* Statistical Account of the Parish of Castleton. 


It used to be much frequented by persons afflicted with 
scrofulous and cutaneous diseases, till lately the pro- 
prietor of the lands prohibited access to the waters. 
This is much to* be lamented, as great benefit was 
derived by many from drinking and using the sul- 
phureous waters as a bath. It is the only spring 
in the district that can truly be said to be possessed 
of high medicinal properties. Many a cure has been 
performed by these waters when medicine failed to 
afford relief. On the farms of Sherbuttrees and 
Dinlabyre, and at Lawston, there are the same kind 
of springs, not equal, however, in virtue to that on 
the estate of Thorlieshope. 

There are several holy or consecrated wells in the 
district which were frequented by diseased persons in 
those days when the clergy exercised a powerful influ- 
ence over the minds of the people of the land. Around 
every monastery a number of these sacred wells were 
to be found, to which the priests ascribed miracul- 
ous cures. These wells became the resort of theafflicted, 
who,after washing and drinking the waters, left a part 
of their dress as an offering tothespiritsof the well, and 
in token of the disease having passed away.* But about 
the beginning of the seventeenth century a number of 
unfortunate creatures were put to death for witchcraft 
and incantation, and against whom the fetching of 
water from wells and lochs, and offering a propitia- 
tion to the .genius loci, formed inter alia a ground 

• In Ireland the same custom prevails at the present day. Near 
the " Holy Wells" the bushes are covered with rags, and the ground 
around strewed with ollerings. 


of accusation against them.* At Melrose there are 
the wells of St. Helen, St. Kobert, and St. Dun- 
stan, said to have been used down to a late period, 
as a sovereign remedy for cholic ; but now these 
sacred waters are sadly neglected. At Jedburgh 
there are no springs to which the term " Holy" 

• On December 18, 160T, Bartie Patterson, tasker in Newbottill, 
was " Dilaitit of the crime of sorcerie and witchcraft, in abusing of 
tbe peopill with charmes and dyuerse soirtes of inchantmentis ; and 
ministring vnder forme of medicine of poysineable drinkis. Item for 
abuseing of the peopill with ane certane watter, brocht be him furth 
of the loche called the Dow loche, beside Drumlanrig, and curing of 
his awin bairne with the said loch watter, be wasching of the said 
baime, at everie nuke thairof thryse; and casting in of the bairnis 
sark in the said loche, and leving of the sark behind him : affirming 
that gif any sould come furthe of the loche, at that time the patient 
wald convalese, and gif no thing apperit to him the patient wald die : 
And for cayreing of the said loche watter to sindrie of the cuntrie 
that war visseit with sickness or qualkais beistes war seik or foir- 
spokin : speciallie for ministrating thairof to Alexander Clark, in 
Creuchtoun, for his health ; be causing him at ilk time quhen he 
liftit the stoupe quharin it was to spaik thir woirdis : ' 1 lift this 
watter in the name of the Father, S<me, and Haly Gaist, to do gaid 
for their he It h for quhom it is liftit ;' quhilkis wordis sould be repetit 
thryse nyne times " The following sentence was pronounced — "to 
be wirreit at ane staik quhill he be deid : and thaireafter his body to 
be brunt in asches." 

On May 15, 1823.— Isabella Haklane, accused of witchcraft, con- 
fessed before a presbytery " that scho went silent to the well of Ru- 
thuen and returneit silent, bringing watter from thence to wasche 
Johne Gowis bairne: Quhen scho tuik the watter frome the well 
scho left ane pairt of the bairnes' sark at it, quhilk scho tuik with hir 
for that effect ; and quh:in scho cam home scho weusche the bairne 
thairwith. In lyke maner scho confest scho had done the el} k to 
Johne Powryis' bairne."— Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. 11, 
page 536, et seq. 


can with any degree of certainty be applied. A 
number of pure springs are in and around the 
burgh, and several of these on land at one time 
the property of the monastery, but none bearing the 
appellation of sacred. At Sickinan's Row two foun- 
tains of pure water well out, which are popularly called 
Kitty and Cholic Wells. There can be little doubt 
that the former well was consecrated. The land from 
which it issues belonged to the abbey, and near to it 
the abode of the Leper. In the neighbourhood, and 
within the new boundary of the burgh, are the 
Allerly and Inchbonnie springs. Several fine springs 
are in the banks to the north of the burgh ; and there 
is one, not inferior to any in the locality, near the 
entrance of the Tovverburn to the Jed. The braes 
around the town are composed of the old red sand- 
stone rock, out of which gush the purest waters. 



£2gR0M the testimony of ancient historians and the to- 
S^ pography of the country, it may with certainty be 
concluded that this island, which now presents to the 
eye such variegated and beautiful scenery, was in for- 
mer times almost exclusively covered with woods, 
lochs, and fresh water pools. Csesar expressly states 
that when the Romans had vanquished the Britons 
in battle, they always sheltered themselves in miry 
woods and low watery forests, that there was no pur- 
suing them. The Siluris, when attacked by the Ro- 
man generals, Ostorius and Agricola, secured them- 
selves in the same manner. It is also recorded of 
Venutius, the king of the Brigantes, that to secure 
himself from his enemy, he fled into the boggy forests 
of the midland part of his kingdom. Herodean also 
states, that it was the custom of the Britons to shelter 
themselves in the thick forests, which grew in boggy 
and wet places, and when opportunity offered, rush 
from their ambuscade, and cut off whole foraging 
parties of the unwary Romans. The Romans being so 


harassed by this mode of warfare, and finding it im- 
possible to attack them successfully in their strong- 
holds, resolved to cut down, all the forests which grew 
in wet and marshy lands. Orders to that effect were 
accordingly issued, and vast forests fell before the 
lloman axes. Experience, however, soon taught the 
conquerors that to clear away these fastnesses was no 
easy task. The undertaking proved more destructive 
to the Roman arms than the sword of the Britons. 
What with cutting down woods, making bridges, 
draining bogs, the enemy's ambuscade, and sickness, 
Severus lost in one campaign 50,000 men. 

That this district of country was anciently covered 
with forest is undoubted. The great number of trees, 
and antiquities of various sorts found in its fens and 
mosses, furnish unquestionable evidence of its sylvan 
state. Medals and coins of the Romans have been 
found buried by a load of peat earth on a fertile soil. 
The stumps of trees being also found erect, fixed in the 
ground in a natural posture as when growing, evince 
that these fine forests were destroyed by the efforts 
of man when possessed with the frenzy of conquest. 
This idea is confirmed by our own early historians, 
who relate that the district was full of forests, abound- 
ing in all the wild animals which the country produced. 
A number of these forests were destroyed in the wars 
with England, and several also by the Scottish kings, 
with the view of expelling the marauding bands which 
infested them. In later times still, Jedburgh forest 
was accounted an impenetrable stronghold, under 
cover of which its lord often refused to obey the man- 


dates of his sovereign, and bade defiance to the armies 
of England. About 1*316, Douglas, having defeated 
the Earl of Arundel, and slain Thomas de Richmond 
and Edmund de Cleviland, Thomas, Earl of Rich- 
mond, to revenge them, led 10,000 men against him, 
while in the forest of Jed, and provided his men with 
axes to hew down the forest itself; but the Scots pre- 
vailed, and Richmond fell by Douglas's own hand. 
Here now only a few stately oaks, bearing evident 
marks of having stood the breeze of many centuries, 
rear their majestic heads among clumps of natural 
alder and birches, plainly indicating that other trees 
had once crowded the intermediate spaces. But the 
names of places in the district afford the most con- 
clusive proof of its many forests. The river Jed de- 
rives its name from the woody country which it passes 
through ; and it is thought that the people who first 
inhabited its banks obtained for the like reason the 
name of Gadeni — i. e. the people inhabiting the woody 
country. Between the rivers Jed and Rule the names 
of a number of places establish the woody state of the 
land. C-dst\ewood, near Jedburgh, existed till the 
end of last century; Woo^-field, near Mossburnford ; 
Wood-house ; Thorterwood ; Bush; Ashtrees ; Broom- 
hills ; Saug hhurnh&ugh, and FodderleefoY^s, near 
Kule. Between the Jed and the Oxnam — the Birks; 
Newbigging-teA ; Uppertown-5wsA ; Falla, from 
Phala — the castle in the wood ; Brierlee ; the Shaw, 
and Broomh&nk. The district of the Oxnam was 
formerly known as the Henwood, which afforded a 
rendezvous to the gallant borderers, when the war 


cry of the Cranstouns resounded amongst the rocky 
banks of the Ouse. Between that stream and the 
Cayle — which, as already noticed, derived its name 
from the extensive hazel coverts that clothed the sides 
of its green hills — the land seems to have been well 
wooded. EcMoord, near Teviot, derives its name 
from the oak forest which adorned the banks of the 
Cayle and Teviot. The name signifies the place 
where the Teviot was crossed — the ford at the oaks. 
Easter Wooden ; Wester Wooden ; Philogar ; Place- 
gates//#?P, from Shavj, a wood ; Towngnteshaw. On 
the district between the Cayle and Bowmont there are 
CaMahone ; Woodyhope ; Gvookedshaws ; Oa^hope, 
and Woods'ide. On the land lying between the Cayle 
and the Tweed and Teviot, there are Broomc&vers ; 
FcHovd-imW ; Wooden ; Wester Wooden, and Easter 
Wooden. On the Ale there were formerly extensive 
forests, as the names of places still show — Woodhe&d, 
near Ancrum ; HeUshaws; Ashybuvn ; FalahiW ; 
Shavibwrn', Yr'mvshaw, near Lilliesleaf; Birkwood ; 
Ashkirk; He&dshaivs ; Shielswood ; Calabuvn, Upper 
and Nether; Todshaw; Todshawh&ugh, TodshawhiW ; 
and G'irnwood, between the Borthwick and Teviot. 
On the Slitrig — Back of the Woods. In the well- 
contested portion of the district lying north of the 
Tweed, between the Gala and Leader, the topogra- 
phy evinces that it was at one time nearly covered 
with wood — h&ngshaw ; AWenshaws ; H&reshaw ; 
Threenwood ; Bro&dwoodhiU ; Woodhead ; Weeplaw- 
wood. Near Melrose the Yriorswood* which, accord- 
* Miln's Melrose. 


ing to Miln, gave a name to Aikiede&n ; and on the 
southside of Bowden-moor there was the great deer 
park of Holydean, formerly full of old wood. In 
Liddesdale the names of many places are also de- 
rived from the woods which once adorned the mar- 
gins of its streams and hillsides. On Blaeau and 
Stobie's maps are to be found Shaws ; Coipeshaw ; 
Abhotshaw ; QWntwood ; Ifiovdwood ; Bygatewooa? ,• 
Billetwoo^; Woodside ; and the Birkholm. In the 
channel of several of the rivers large trees have been 
found, confirming the belief that the country had 
been covered with wood. In the Lid, an oak, mea- 
suring twenty-six feet long, and ten feet in circumfer- 
ence, was discovered a few years before the minister 
of Castleton wrote his account of the parish. In the 
river Teviot, about the beginning of the present cen- 
tury, a number of large oaks were found at the mouth 
of the Jed. From these monarchs of the wood being 
found near to where the Watlingstreet crosses the 
Teviot, it may fairly be presumed, that they formed 
a part of the bridge by which the Roman conquerors 
passed the river to the northward. It is to be re- 
gretted, that the exact dimensions of these trees have 
not been preserved ; but they are said to have been 
very large, and that part of them were manufactured 
into furniture for the Earl of Minto, on whose lands 
they were found. In the neighbourhood of Holydean, 
oaks, firs, and birches, have been found fully eight 
feet below the surface.* In Eckford wester moss 

* Old Statistical Account of Bowden Parish, XVI, 241. 



have also been dug up large oaks, birches, firs, and 
roots of other trees. When the lake at Scraesburgh 
was drained, the same discoveries were made ; and 
indeed, scarcely a moss or marshy place has yielded 
to the spirit of improvement, without giving up trees 
of almost every kind, roots, nuts, the horns of deer, 
and the remains of other wild animals that once 
roamed in the forests. 

In addition to the evidence already afforded by the 
names of places, the early grants may be referred to 
as illustrative of the woody state of the district. Be- 
tween the years 1153 and 1156, Malcolm IV. granted 
tracts of land on the edge of his forest, on the upper 
parts of the Alne, for improvement. And between 1180 
and 1189, William the Lion gave that land which had 
then been improved, with certain easements in his 
u extensive forests" there, to the church of Glasgow, 
and to Orm of Ashkirk. Earl David granted to the 
abbey and convent of Selkirk, the privilege of cutting 
wood in his forest, for building and burning, as freely 
as he could do himself. David I. gave to the monastery 
of Melrose the privilege of taking wood from the forest 
between Leader and Gala ; and the same monarch 
granted to the abbey of Jedburgh similar privileges 
in his royal forests. The same king conferred on the 
church of St. John, within the castle of Roxburgh, 
the tithe of his copsewood in Teviotdale. The ex- 
ample was followed by Robert de Berkley, who grant- 
ed to the monks of Melrose the common easement of 
fuel, both in '■'•brushwood and in turbary.'''' Gilbert de 
Umfraville granted to the monks of Kelso the tenth 


of the foals of his breeding mares in the forest of 
Cottonshope ; and Anslem of Mow gave the monas- 
tery of Kelso " Howlefs burn, in bosco et piano" In 
1235, Alexander II. erected the district between 
Gala and Leader into a free forest. Next year the 
same king granted to the house of Melrose u ut terram 
suam de Moll haent'm. liber am forestam" The monks 
of Jedburgh had right to take wood from the forest 
of Jedburgh for all necessary purposes, and to pasture 
their beasts wherever the king's beasts pastured. Even 
at that early period forests are referred to as cut 
down. In an agreement between the monks of Mel- 
rose and Kelso, given in the chartulary of Melrose, 
mention is made of forests cut down, "nemus scissum." 
Grants for a limited number of oaks, for a special pur- 
pose, are frequently found in the chartularies. These 
are observed very often to follow an inroad of the 
English ; no doubt to assist in repairing the damages 
done by the enemy to the property of the loving sub- 
jects of the crown. 

Before the introduction of coal into the district, 
wood was the principal as well as the earliest fuel. 
Even after peats and turfs began to be used in the 
reign of David I., wood continued to be burned in 
the monasteries, castles, and houses of the wealthy. 
A vast amount of wood was also consumed in the 
saltworks of the country, which, so early as the twelfth 
century, furnished a considerable revenue to the kings 
and nobles, and were a source of great profit to the 
monks. The chartularies of the various abbeys abound 
in grants of saltworks to the monks, and the neces- 


sary privilege of cutting wood in the forests to " sus- 
tain llw pan."" 1 So great was the waste of wood in 
the manufacture of this article alone, that the want 
of it began to be seriously felt in the fourteenth cen- 
tury. Although fossil coal was known to the Britons, 
it does not appear to have been worked in Scotland 
till the end of the thirteenth century. In a charter 
dated in 1 28 k peat and coal appear, but it was not 
till the commencement of .the seventeenth century 
that coal became the common fuel of this part of the 
island. The state of the roads restricted its use to 
the neighbourhood of the coaleries. It will there- 
fore be seen that, independently of the destruction of 
the forests by the Romans, and afterwards by the 
English, who delighted to take their pleasure in the 
Scottish woods, there is no difficulty in accounting for 
the disappearance of the remainder of the extensive 
forests which at one time covered the land. 

There are also abundant facts to establish the boggy 
and marshy condition of the district. The names of 
places throughout its whole extent afford the clearest 
evidence of its state. On the Tweed, opposite to 
Dry burgh, is the Fens, which owed its name to the 
marshy land with which it was surrounded. Near to 
it, on the north bank of the Tweed, is Merton, which 
derived its name from Mereton, signifying the dwelling 
on the lake. During the thirteenth century Roger de 
Quincy, Earl of Winchester, granted to the monks 
of Dry burgh the right of fishing in the lake at Mer- 
ton. Morebattle is derived from Merebottle ; the ha- 
bitation on the lake. Fans, too, obtains its name 


from the fenny district in which it is situated. Stock 
struther is from Stock, a place, and struther, a marsh 
or swamp; the dwelling on the marsh.* hustruther 
is the manor place situated on a bog or swamp. 
Palace from palus ; a moist place. Renniston is 
written in ancient records R&unesfen, from its being 
then a marsh. Near Woodhead, Ancrum, there is a 
place marked " Sea''' on a map published in 1770. 
Moss Tower is said by the Earl of Surrey to have 
stood in the middle of a moss when he overran Teviot- 
dale. Wester Moss is in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the tower. There is Lochend near Longnew- 
ton. Merwick is to be found in various parts of the 
district, and which interpreted means the place or 
ml on the marsh. CWick is descriptive of its posi- 
tion near wet land. Blacklawwyr^s ; the bogs of the 
Black-law. Marchcleuch signifies the cleuch at the 
mere or loch ; Merecleuch. In like manner Fendyhsdl 
denotes its swamps. The water of Kershope is named 
from the wet land through which it runs ; Corshope. 
ilfyr^dykes ; the dykes in the morass at Dead water. 
Lochend, near Jedburgh. Here there was a common on 
which the cattle of the inhabitants of Jedburgh had 
a right to pasture, Mossburni'ord, on Jed, and Cors- 
heugh in the same locality, owe their names to a lake 
previously mentioned, which extended from the Jed to 
the Oxnam. On the Allen water there is 31oss-houses, 

* This word, it is believed, remains only in the topography of 
Scotland. In 1159, Malcolm granted a charter to the Monks of 
Kelso, conferring on them Travertin, "cunt omnibus aisiamentis vicini 
Strodre quod cameri dicitur.'" 



so named from the proximity of the dwellings to the 
moss : 3Ioss Paul and THedmoss in the southwest part 
of the district. Several places bear the name of Flatt, 
and Stank is a common appellation. 

The now beautiful district of the Merse is indebted 
for its name to its moors and mosses. Merse is de- 
rived from Mere ; a marsh, loch or morass, and which 
truly described its appearance in ancient times. We 
have seen that the lake at Merton was celebrated for 
its fish, and in which the holy men of Dryburgh had 
the privilege of netting.* The same monks had also 
a "petary" in Fawns, near Earlston, which they ob- 
tained from the generous Ada. They had also another 
'• petary" in the same place, in the moss of Sir Adam 
Gordon. Richard de Fawyns gave them a right of 
" turbary" there. In Gordon the monks of Kelso and 
Dryburgh had rights of " petary" and, in return, the 
monks of Kelso granted to Sir Thomas Gordon the right 
of burial in the cemetery of the abbey at Kelso. Roger 
de Burnard granted to the monks of Melrose a part 
of his " petary" in his moss at Fairneydun, with 
thirteen acres of land at his ml there. As the woods 
got thin, petaries became the frequent objects of grant 
to the abbots and convents. Even at this day the 

* This lake was drained about the beginning of the present cen- 
tury tor its shell marl, which was discovered under a deep covering 
of moss. It was about one hundred acres in extent, and the strata 
from seven to ten feet thick. It was drained by cutting a channel 
into the Tweed. A considerable brick- work is now carried on where 
the boats of the monks floated. 


possessors of many of the villages, which formerly 
belonged to the religious houses, have rights of pe- 
tary, and turf, and divot, in the neighbouring moors 
and mosses.* 

The names of places are also very instructive in 
ascertaining the kind of animals which roamed in the 
forests and wastes of the district. In Teviotdale, 
there are on the Cayle, Swinekwa, ifoarhope, 
Wolfcleuch, Deerhope, and Hindhojyes. On the 
Oxnam, the Swinesidea. On the Jed, Swynhoipe and 
Hindalee. On the llule, Wolf lee, Wolf 'hope, and 
Hindhope. In the upper parts of the district there 
•is Wolf eleuch, near Roberton; TWslaw on the Teviot ; 
and TWcrags on the Bowmont. From remains found 
in fens and bogs, we are warranted in concluding 
that the wild bison herded in the forests and moun- 
tains of the district. If tradition is to be believed, other 
animals have existed in the county, of which there is 
now no trace, and which is here alluded to as helping 
to explain the state of the country in olden times. It 
is said that a great worm existed in the neighbour- 
hood of Linton, at a place called the Serpent's Den, 
or Worm's Glen. According to tradition the serpent 
or worm laid waste the whole country around, killing 
man and beast, till it was destroyed by John Somer- 

* In the Council Records of Jedburgh we observe the admission of a 
schoolmaster, by the advice of the Bishop of Caithness, whose salary 
was to be £100, of which £20 was to be paid by the Kirk Session 5 
besides the augmentation by the bishop, and the quarter's wages, 
t( and a cartful of turfs laid down at his door by the parent of each 
bairn." This was in 1624. 


ville, falconer to William the Lion, which obtain- 
tained for him the barony of Linton. That the worm 
was possessed of the power, or produced such injury 
to the country, as is ascribed to it by the tradition, 
few or none will believe ; still, when it is considered that 
at this day, and under a different clime, a savage 
animal spreads terror and alarm through a whole 
district, we are not inclined to be altogether sceptical. 
The place where this serpent is said to have lived 
would, at that time, be a swamp entirely surrounded 
by lakes, and peculiarly adapted for the bed of such 
a reptile. In all likelihood it was one of dis- 
gusting animals which are frequently met with on the* 
margins of lakes, and in the marshy ground of every 
newly inhabited country. 

The abbots, who kept numerous flocks and herds 
at their various granges throughout the district, had 
great difficulty in protecting them from the wild ani- 
mals. But when they set gins to catch the wolves, 
game was often snared instead, which caused seri- 
ous disputes with the nobles, who set a high value on 
the game. The remains of deer are often found in 
the mosses. When Linton loch was drained a deer's 
head was found in a good state of preservation, and 
said to be the finest specimen in the kingdom. In 
Doorpool moss were found horns of the red deer, of 
gigantic size, finely preserved ;* and, opposite to 
Falside, horns of the same animals have been washed 

• These horns were presented to Sir Walter Scott by the late Ro- 
bert Shortreed, Esq., Jedburgh. 


out of the moss by the Jed. While the workmen 
were engaged in digging the foundations of the new 
damdyke across the river at Jedburgh, they came 
upon the skull and horns of a roe deer. But it is un- 
necessary to illustrate the ancien|*appearance of the 
district with further notices of this kind. What has 
been advanced is sufficient to show that it was cover- 
ed with forests, lochs, and marshes, when the Roman 
eagle first appeared on the heights of the Cayle, and 
had the same features at the period when the Douglas 
and Percy contended for supremacy in Teviotdale. 



j)T has long been the practice to divide Scotland, 
when viewed in reference to its Geology, into 
three great sections, each of them characterised by 
marked features of distinction. These are the nor- 
thern division, whose rocks and formations constitute 
it essentially a primitive country; the central division, 
comprehending the great basins of the Clyde, Tay, 
and Forth, which is a secondary system; and the 
southern division, which is chiefly a transition coun- 
try. The latter may be considered as bounded on 
the north by an ideal line, running obliquely across 
the country in a north-east direction, from near Gir- 
van in Ayrshire, to the neighbourhood of Dunbar in 
Haddingtonshire. Lying in the south-eastern part 
of this great southern land, and stretching from 
where it touches upon the English border, to a point 
so far north as to occupy considerably more than one- 
half of its breadth, the county of Roxburgh presents 
us, not only with the most characteristic formations 
of the transition series, but with examples of nearly 
all of these that are found in the country. On the 
north-east, where it sinks into the rich and level 


country which lies towards the sea, it partakes, in its 
coal formation, and accompanying trap, of the cha- 
racter of a secondary district; towards the south- 
west, rising gradually into the high mountainous 
ridge which separates it from Dumfries-shire, it pre- 
sents in strong development the most marked phe- 
nomena of a transition country. The greywacke 
and associated clay-slates which occupy such an ex- 
tensive area in the southern division, form the west 
side of the county, and extend nearly to its centre, 
which is their line of termination in an eastern direc- 
tion. The uniformity of geological structure, obser- 
vable in some of the adjacent counties, such as Sel- 
kirk and Peebles, where the greywacke occupies al- 
most the entire surface, gives way, in this county, to 
an interesting variety, arising from the presence of 
the old red sandstone, the porphyry of the Cheviot 
and Eildon hills, and the coal measures. These cir- 
cumstances have recommended it to the attention of 
geologists, and it has been made the subject of two 
separate surveys by gentlemen eminently qualified 
for such an undertaking.* 

The superficial aspect of the county does not fall 
within the scope of the present chapter to describe ; 
but as the external form of a country is intimately 
connected with its internal structure, occasional allu- 
sion to peculiarities in the former will not be consider- 

* Geological Account of Roxburghshire, by David Milne, Esq. 
Transactions of Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. xv.,j». 433. 

On the Geology of Roxburgh, by Professor Nicol. Transactions 
of Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, 1845. 


ed out of place when treating of the causes to which 
they are owing. The great valley of the Teviot, 
which formerly gave its name to the entire district, 
occupies the centre of the county, and the course of 
the river through it is remarkably direct to the 
north-east. This direction it receives from the pre- 
vailing disposition of the greywacke rocks ; and its 
tributaries are influenced by the same cause, joining 
it at an angle more or less acute. When that rock 
becomes supplanted by another formation, the afflu- 
ent streams are more devious ; and when the distur- 
bing influence of the Cheviot porphyries comes in, not 
only do the tributaries considerably change their 
direction, but the main stream undergoes the only 
important irregularity it presents throughout its whole 
course. The valleys of the Tweed and Liddle are 
towards the outskirts of the county ; the latter, run- 
ning due south, is a portion of a different system, 
and though geographically comprehended within this 
county, belongs geologically to the basin of the 
Sol way. 

On the south and eastern sides, the county may be 
said to be set in a frame of mountains, some of them 
of considerable elevation ; and these are continued 
across the northern extremity of Lioldesdale, forming 
the ridge whence the water flows in two opposite 
directions. The hills in the greywacke district, when 
composed of that rock, form elongated masses, gene- 
rally of not very great elevation, lying in a north-eas- 
tern direction ; but nearly all the insulated heights, 
throughout the whole county, are composed of erup- % 


tive masses of trap, generally a very dark augitic 
greenstone. In the porphyritic districts, the moun- 
tains are also of porphyry, and present the charac- 
teristic forms of that rock. 

Among the stratified rocks of the county, we find 
the greywacke and accompanying clay-slate, the old 
red sandstone, and the coal formation, as represent- 
ed by the Kelso and Liddesdale sandstones. The 
eruptive or igneous rocks are the various kinds of 
trap and porphyries. We shall consider each of 
these in succession. 

The greywacke is by far the most extensive of the 
sedimentary deposits of the district. It occupies the 
whole of the western side, where it borders on Sel- 
kirkshire, gradually extending itself towards the 
south, and sending out an irregular mass which runs 
southward to Ernton-hill in Liddesdale, and north- 
ward to the vicinity of upper Orailing. At one point, 
a little to the south of the sources of the Jed, it 
almost intersects the county; and thence, northward, 
it interposes, in an irregular elongated mass, between 
the porphyry and old red sandstone formations. 
Where its boundaries do not coincide with those of 
the county, they will be more particularly specified in 
pointing out the topographical distribution of the 
adjoining formations. 

In speaking of the greywacke formation, it must 
be understood that we include under that name not 
only the compact rock to which that term properly 
applies, and greywacke slate, but also clay-slate, 
which constantly occurs in connexion with them. 


The clay-slate is no doubt in its lithological charac- 
ter essentially an independent rock, but it is not only 
intimately conjoined and interstratified with thegrey- 
wacke, but the latter passes so insensibly into grey- 
wacke-slate, and that again into clay-slate, that it is 
often difficult, or impossible, to point out the line of 
boundary between them. 

In all the three great geological divisions of Scot- 
land, the northern or primary, the central or secon- 
dary, and the southern or transitionary, greywacke 
may be observed to present certain modifications of 
character. In the district under review, it is more 
distinctly stratified than it often appears further to 
the north, the grain finer, the beds thinner, and the 
tendency to a slaty structure more decided. The 
rock may be described as an aggregate of clay-slate, 
grains of quartz, scales of mica, and occasionally 
fragments of felspar and jasper. It often assumes 
the form of a coarse conglomerate, the granular 
structure so large that the separate ingredients can 
be readily detached and examined apart ; in this 
state it is found a few miles west from Galashiels ; it 
is rare, however in situ, in Roxburghshire, although 
specimens of coarse grain are frequent in the beds of 
the larger rivers. Its appearance, within the locality 
to which our remarks are restricted, is remarkably uni- 
form, and it may be described as a rock composed of 
fine grains of quartz and clay-slate, with a sufficient 
intermixture of mica-scales, to give it a glimmering 
lustre, and a slaty structure. It is for the most part 
of a bluish-grey colour ; but the action of foreign 


causes has given rise to a variety of tints. Sometimes 
it is impregnated with iron, when it becomes red ; at 
other times it has a mottled appearance ; and a 
greenish-yellow tinge is also occasionally observable. 
In places where the grey wacke joins the red sandstone, 
both rocks become so assimilated that it is difficult 
to distinguish them, at least in small specimens. The 
interstratification of the clay-slate affords, however, 
in most cases, an available means of discrimination. 

The clay-slate is generally in thinner layers than the 
grey wacke, and often, as it were, compressed between 
the strata of the more massive rock. It is almost 
wholly composed of clay, with a little mica, and a 
sprinkling of quartzoe sand. The prevailing colours 
are various shades of grey or brown ; and it is liable, 
from accidental causes, to assume all the different 
tints of the associated rocks. Mr Nicol mentions 
that the slate found near the trap at Rink, above 
Edgerston, is of a greenish- white colour, with a greasy 
feel like soapstone. It is found in two places in thin 
layers much cracked and broken, and sometimes 
slightly curved. It is sometimes, in this locality, 
curiously striped with parallel bands of a darker co- 
lour, resembling a blade of grass with a strong vein 
in the centre. This bears some resemblance to the 
impression of some fossil, but is more probably the 
result of igneous action. In general, the slate is very 
fissile, readily splitting into a great number of thin 
plates ; it is more easily acted upon by the weather 
than the compact greywacke ; and in an exposed sur- 
face of rock, or one occasionally under water (as in 


the bed of the Teviot,) it is usually worn a little 
down below the general level. In its relation to the 
other rock, a frequent arrangement is for a compact 
portion of greywacke of some width to occupy the 
centre ; this gradually, towards the sides, becomes 
somewhat schistose, and the process goes on till we 
come to fine slate. 

These rocks, almost in all instances, are very dis- 
tinctly stratified, and the direction of the strata is 
almost uniformly east and west, seldom varying 
from it above a few degrees. The inclination, 
or dip, is commonly in a southerly direction ; but 
in the great majority of instances the strata ap- 
proach to vertical, and in not a few cases are com- 
pletely so. Examples, however, occur of much lower 
angles ; and at Broadly Hope, near Hermitage, and 
Carter burn,- a little above its confluence with the 
Jed, the rocks are very nearly horizontal, a singular 
deviation from the normal position. 

The projection upwards of these vertical, or nearly 
vertical, masses of stone, rising frequently above the 
surface, has determined the conformation of the gene- 
ral outline of the greywacke district. The strata 
may be seen forming the summits of the high ridges 
towards the sources of the Teviot ; and where the 
hills have been opened for quarries, especially at a 
high elevation, as on the hill above Caerlanrigg, the 
stone is loose and brittle, shivering into fragments on 
being displaced. In many places the elevated ridges 
formed by this rock are small and numerous ; and, 
where the ground is cultivated around them, they ap- 


pear like small islands dotting the surface. This is 
well exemplified on a farm called, from this circum- 
stance, the Knows, near Kirkton. On a larger scale, 
the same thing may be seen in the numerous emi- 
nences which surround Hawick, and in many other 
places. The superficial coating of soil and alluvial 
matter is, in such cases, very thin, and merely softens 
to the eye without materially altering the contour of 
the rocky skeleton. 

These strata often exhibit a great variety of flex- 
ures and contortions, sometimes produced by obvious 
causes, at other times when no ostensible reason can 
be assigned. They appear to have been subjected to 
some disturbing action of a powerful kind, probably 
a short time after the period of their deposition. 

The two simple minerals which occur in greatest 
abundance in connexion with this formation, are 
calcareous spar, and quartz. They generally appear 
in the form of veins ; and in many instances in such 
abundance as to form a complete net-work on the 
surface of the rock. This is particularly the case 
with the calcareous spar, which forms veins varying 
in thickness from two to three inches down to the 
tenuity of a slender thread. These white lines are 
very distinctly seen in water-worn and partially polish- 
ed fragments of greywacke, and give the stone a 
curious and often beautiful appearance. The spar is 
frequently tinged of a fine red or rose colour, which 
is caused by the presence of red hematite. The quartz 
occasionally forms layers arranged conformably with 
the strata, but more frequently it occurs in veins 


traversing the stone like the calcareous spar : it 
sometimes assumes the fibrous structure and purple 
tint characteristic of amethyst. 

The whole of this great formation, as it occurs in 
the south of Scotland, may be said to be poor in or- 
ganic remains. Very distinct impressions of plants 
have been discovered in the Jed where it passes the 
burgh of Jedburgh, and similar impressions have been 
seen near Harden-mains, on the Oxnam. Professor 
Nicol also speaks of indistinct carbonaceous impres- 
sions, something like those of plants, occurring at Ric- 
carton-burn, on the south side of Ernton-hill, in Lid- 
desdale.* Neither are these rocks in any way remark- 
able, in this locality, for their metalliferous proper- 
ties ; although, in some of the adjoining districts they 
are well known to afford pretty rich veins of lead, 
copper and iron. Small portions of galena are said 
to have been found near Langholm bridge, and veins 
of hematitic iron ore are not rare. 

The pebbles which cover the bed of the Teviot are 
chiefly water-worn fragments of greywacke. Below 
Hassendean-burn they are mixed with a great variety 
of rounded stones from the conglomerate, which forms 
the base of the red sandstone ; but higher up the 
stream, and particularly towards its source, the chan- 
nel consists almost wholly of flattish oval or rounded 
pebbles of greywacke, pretty uniform in size. When 

• Organic remains have been found in a quarry situated in this 
formation at Greiston, near Traquair, in Peebles-shire ; they are prin- 
cipally graptolites. A few other localities have been mentioned as 


washed by the current these become smooth on the 
surface, and very free from impurities, and tend ma- 
terially to preserve the crystalline transparency of 
the water, for which the Teviot has been celebrated. 
Its " silver tide" can thus be traced, at least in part, 
to geological causes. 

This rock is much used in the districts where it 
abounds, as road-metal, a purpose for which it is well 
adapted. In places remote from the sandstone for- 
mations, it is also much employed for building, and is 
considered a good building stone. Its sombre hue, 
however, when in a mass, renders it not very agree- 
able to the eye ; this is partially relieved by facings 
of sandstone, so that it acquires the neat and well 
defined appearance of a dark substance, set in a white 
frame. But a more serious objection to it, as a build- 
ing material, arises from its cleavage ; for it is crossed 
by a system of rents, parallelly arranged, running ath- 
wart the direction of the strata almost at right angles. 
These again are occasionally traversed by another 
series of rents, so that the stone divides into cubical or 
rhomboidal pieces. These rents sometimes open con- 
siderably after the stone has been placed in its posi- 
tion ; and hence it happens that scarcely any building 
composed of greywacke, in the upland parts of the 
county, where it is chiefly employed, are capable of 
excluding the rain. 

The appearances presented by this rock at its point 
of junction with the superjacent red sandstone, will 
be afterwards noticed. 

A deposit which, though not so extensive, is of 



more interest to the geologist, than that we have 
just considered, next claims our attention. Although 
it continued till lately a matter of doubt to what 
member of the series of geological formations it pro- 
perly belonged, recent discoveries enable us, without 
any hesitation, to classify it with the old red sand- 
stone. It forms an irregular quadrangular area 
towards the centre of the county, emitting two an- 
gular projections from its southern extremity, and 
interrupted in the middle of its north-side by an 
intrusion of trap rocks. Regarding it, as its relations 
to the subjacent rock fully authorise us to do, as 
occupying a kind of basin in the greywacke, the edges 
of the basin may be described as touching upon the 
following places, proceeding from the north-western 
extremity southward, and returning to the same 
point: St. Roswells, Belses, Hassendean, Southdean, 
Old Jedburgh, Upper Oailing, Mainhouse, Sunlaws, 
Mounteviot, Ancrum ; whence northwards to the 
Tweed, which forms its boundary as far as it belongs 
to the county of Roxburgh. That it fills a kind of 
trough or depression in the greywacke is apparent 
from this, that when it is cut through, which it is even 
at its greatest depth by the river Jed, the greywacke 
is exposed as the subjacent rock. 

In this deposit, as it presents itself in the district 
specified, three well-marked modifications of the rock 
occur, which separately claim our attention ; namely, 
the conglomerate; the dark brownish-red earthy-look- 
ing mass, forming the "scaurs*' 1 which are so conspi- 
cuous on the banks of rivers; and the compact red 


and white sandstones, in the higher parts of the 
country used as building stone. 

The conglomerate, the lowest member of this 
upper series, may be best seen about the out- 
skirts of the formation ; also on the Tweed below 
Melrose, and occasionally in the course of the Jed ; 
and there is an extensive display in the glen formed 
by the burn which runs into the Teviot at Has- 
sendean, where the formation terminates to the 
westward. In the last mentioned locality, the con- 
glomerate may be seen along the whole course of the 
stream, and at one spot it forms a lofty scaur, per- 
haps 60 or 70 feet in height. The agglutinated 
boulders are generally from 1 to 4 inches in diameter, 
rounded and rubbed smooth, and consist of a great 
variety of different rocks. Quartz,* often coloured 
more or or less deeply with iron, porphyry, grey wacke, 
felspar, and flinty-slate, are most frequent ; and they 
are imbedded in a dark red or yellowish basis of an 
argillaceous nature, often very hard. Many of the 
rounded stones and pebbles which cover the bed of 
the Teviot are derived from this deposit ; the cemen- 
ting medium gives way to the action of the water, 
and the stones are left free. We can thus account 

* The white quartz pebbles scattered so profusely over the face of 
the district are chiefly derived from the conglomerate, and as they 
originate in a local peculiarity, they are distinguished by a local name. 
Throughout Roxburghshire they are known us cow-lady -stone, which 
Dr Jamieson supposes to be a corruption of the French word caitlc- 
teau, a chuck, or little flint stone.— We cannot help thinking that it 
must have some other origin. 


for the immense number of stones occurring in the 
beds of many of our rivers, of a kind, such as the 
quartz, different from any fixed rock now found with- 
in a remote distance. .Neither do they owe their 
rounded shapes and smooth surfaces to the action of 
the rivers which now ro)l them in their currents, for 
they entered them nearly as they are, but to the re- 
dundant waves which washed the beach of some ante- 
diluvian sea. These conglomerates present them- 
selves in huge masses, as in the precipice referred 
to, the harder portions prominent, and the softer re- 
ceding, and there are occasional rents which break 
up the continuity ; but though these are occasionally 
longitudinal, they can scarcely be regarded as signs 
of stratification. The materials of these aggregations 
must be derived from the disruption of rocks existing 
before the old red sandstone : when they are brecciat- 
ed and angular, as is sometimes observed to be the 
ease, they are probably not far removed from their 
original site ; but when bearing obvious marks of 
attrition, they are transported from a distance, for 
we find them resting upon beds of fine-grained sand- 
stone, and even enclosed within its strata. 

AY here the old red sandstone formation acquires 
its greatest depth, the largest proportion of it con- 
sists of arenaceous and marly clays, forming a dark 
red or brownish mass, more or less indurated. In 
many cases it can scarcely be considered as hardened 
into rock, but in general it is more or less so, though 
soft and incoherent, crumbling into small pieces when 
removed from its bed, or resolving itself into earthy 


matter, under the action of the weather. Amon^ 
this, more coherent beds, some of them acquiring a 
considerable degree of hardness and consistency, are 
frequently interspersed ; but the layers are in most 
cases of no great thickness. The dark mass is traversed 
at intervals by narrow layers of a whitish, yellowish, 
or bluish-grey colour, which contrast strongly with 
the general hue, and resemble the bands of light 
coloured stone, which we sometimes see running along 
a dark building. The thin beds, which are somewhat 
harder than the rest, project a little from the surface, 
and form a narrow ledge ; but the rock is never of 
sufficient coherency to support itself at any distance 
from the main mass, and this, together with the ten- 
dency of the weather to reduce the whole surface to a 
pretty uniform level, renders precipices composed of 
this kind of sandstone strictly mural, rising perpen- 
dicularly like a wall. Examples of this modification 
of the rock are best seen on the banks of the 
rivers tributary to the Teviot, particularly the Jed, 
Rule, and Ale : good sections are also exposed in 
Denholm-dean, and many other places. These rivers 
descend from a somewhat elevated part of the coun- 
try, and, when flooded, flow with great impetuosity, 
carrying large stones and gravel along with them, so 
as to justify the poet's description of one of them : 

Between red ezlar banks, that frightful scowl, 
Fringed with gray hazel, roars the mining lioull. 

Their action upon the soft sandstone which forms 
their bed, must necessarily therefore be powerful, and 
they have, as already mentioned, actually cut through 


the entire deposit in several places. Its whole depth 
is thus exposed to view in a perpendicular section ; 
and the precipices, or scaurs as they are called, so 
formed, are often of great height, and very striking 
objects in the scenery of the district. These strata 
are very uniform in character, and almost invariably 
horizontal, or with a very slight inclination. Occasional 
fissures arc met with, running across the beds ; and 
two very curious slips occur in the high banks of the 
J ed above Ferniherst. Figures of these may be seen 
in Professor Nicolas Essay. In one instance the strata 
have been raised upwards in an elongated curve, and 
meet at a vertical line. In the other case, the beds 
have been elevated in a similar manner, and their 
elevation has left a wedge-shaped opening between 
them, into which other portions of the rock have 
slipped down and filled the hollow. At other points 
in the river's course, disturbances of a similar kind 
may be observed, and also at some distance from the 
river, as near the road to Hunthill. Wherever the 
sandstone comes in contact with the subjacent rock, 
irregularities in the beds, and a partial exchange of 
characters, never fail to take place. This is particu- 
larly observable at the junction of the two formations 
a quarter of a mile above Jedburgh, a drawing of 
which was first given by Hutton in his Theory of the 
Earth. Not far from Ferniherst mill the strata seem 
to have been elevated in one point, whence they dip 
in three directions. It is not easy to account for the 
manner in which these very local elevations have been 
produced. The upheaval of some underlying rock 


would have caused an irregular break among the 
strata, rather than the uniform curves we now wit- 
ness ; and if we have recourse for an explanation to 
the notion of expansion or contraction among the 
rocks themselves, it is impossible to conceive how a 
cause which must have been general in its operation, 
should have manifested its results comparatively so 
seldom and so locally. 

The colouring matter of this formation is peroxide 
of iron, and an immense quantity of that mineral 
must have been diffused in the fluid from which the 
sandstone was deposited : the quantity, however, 
must have differed greatly at different periods, from 
the variety of degrees in which the strata are impreg- 
nated. Considering the rock as it occurs in this 
neighbourhood, the deeper the strata lie, in general, 
they are the more deeply tinged, as if the greater 
portion of the suspended mineral solution had sunk 
downwards. At all events the upper series of strata 
are freest from it, some of them being yellow, and many 
of considerable thickness entirely white. Conformably 
with this fact, we have found that it is chiefly in strata 
of the two colours last named that organic remains 
occur, it being well known that this metallic impreg- 
nation is deleterious, or even destructive to vegetable 
and animal life. 

The lighter coloured and upper beds just alluded 
to, which we now proceed to consider, are the most in- 
teresting, as well as the most useful, portions of this 
formation. They occupy the higher points, often in 
beds of great thickness, and the quarries which have 


been opened at numerous places, for example, at 
Belses, Lanton-hill, near Jedburgh, Denholm-hill, 
&c, afford ample facilities for examination. As the 
quarry at Denholm-hill is the most considerable of 
these excavations, and as we have had more frequent 
opportunities of examining it than the others, we 
shall describe it with some degree of detail, more es- 
pecially as what relates to the natural history of the 
rock in this place, will apply more or less to the other 

In the upper part of the burn which has formed the 
romantic wooded glen called Denholm-dean, we find 
a deposit of the conglomerate, and further down, high 
scaurs of the deep red crumbling beds. From this 
point the ground rises gradually to Denholm-hill, 
which is about a quarter of a mile distant, and this 
is composed of compact white and reddish sandstone. 
This may be regarded as the order of arrangement 
which generally prevails among the different modifi- 
cations of the formation. 

Three excavations have been made in the hill, but 
only one of these is now wrought, and it is called the 
white quarry to distinguish it from a red one some 
distance to the west. This opening has been long 
wrought, and is of considerable extent, sometimes as 
many as 60 workmen being employed, and for a con- 
siderable time back the average number has not been 
under 30. The best portions of the workable rock 
are a good way beneath the surface ; and, on examin- 
ing the cut which has been made to reach it, we find the 
following arrangement of strata. Below the surface- 

PLATE. 5. 

Scale of Jfobpty frssimu.: 

;7vm I a//A >7iM/l. 

J Gellau 


soil there are about five feet of subsoil mixed with 
fragments of sandstone, and terminating in a narrow 
irregular band of loose broken slabs. Beneath this 
there is a deposit about 10 feet in thickness of coarse 
earthy and slaty matter, of a deep reddish- brown col- 
our, being deeply impregnated with iron, which forms 
a kind of incrustation on some parts of the surface. 
This is succeeded by narrow horizontal bands of whit- 
ish sandstone, soft and friable. Five or six feet of 
pretty compact and indurated rock lie below this, 
when we come to the liver rock quarried for building 
stone. This is evidently of considerable extent, and may 
be raised in blocks almost of any required dimensions. 
The grain is generally fine, and the surface takes a 
good polish ; the colour rather pure white, but almost 
invariably with a tinge of green more or less deep. 
The upper beds appear to be softest, the underlying 
ones are frequently very hard. Even in the most com- 
pact portions of the rock small nodules of greenish or 
brownish slaty matter frequently occur ; in the softer 
portions this is so frequent as to give the rock almost 
the appearance of a conglomerate. A large quantity 
of green earth (chlorite) must have been suspended 
in the waters from which these rocks were deposited > 
for it not only, more or less, pervades the whole mass* 
but in the more slaty parts it forms a thick coating, 
mixed plentifully with scales of mica between the 
layers, and at this point the slabs are easily split* 
The mica is also general throughout the rock, but in 
very minute scales. Small blackish specks also, pre- 
vail, and, on the smooth surfaces, dark incrustations 


like the impression of a moss, which is probably the 
dendritic appearance which iron is apt to assume in 
such circumstances. Although the rock is generally 
white in this place, strata occasionally occur more or 
less tinted with reddish-brown. 

The quarry which yields the red stone is about half 
a mile further west, on the same ridge, but situated 
somewhat lower. The stone is similar in texture to 
that above described, but for the most part it is 
brownish-red. The rock is very thick ; the dip in- 
clining somewhat to the north-east ; but as there is a 
slip in the strata, it seems to vary in direction. The 
rock is often streaked with dark lines, and variegated 
with different delineations, so that when polished it 
has a very curious and often beautiful appearance. 
The chloriteous earth has been deposited here in 
great abundance, most of the slabs presenting a 
thick incrustation of bright green glimmering with 
mica. No other substance of a mineral nature has 
been observed either in the red or white sandstone, 
except a few veins and incrustations of calcareous 
spar, llipple-markings are occasionally seen. here; 
and we lately observed the entire surface of a very 
large slab marked in this way in a very singular and 
beautiful manner. The sand composing the general 
surface had been mixed with green earth, and the 
undulating ridges are entirely of a bright green col- 
our. After these had been formed, the water appears 
to have taken up a quantity of red earth, and, in 
moving again over the ridges, to have deposited it in 
the hollows left between them. The surface is there- 


fore covered with a series of green and red-waved 
parallel bands, as distinct and regular as if they had 
been the result of some artificial process. 

The apparent absence of organic remains has often 
been mentioned as one of the most marked peculiari- 
ties, not only of the sandstone in this locality, but of 
the formation generally throughout the country. The 
investigations of Mr Hugh Miller, and many others, 
have long since shown that this is far from being the 
case, and that, in fact, the formation is very rich, 
especially in ichthyolites, many of them presenting the 
most extraordinary forms of primordial existences. 
In this respect the Roxburghshire old red sandstone 
is of course deficient compared with that of the north 
of Scotland, which is of so much greater extent, and 
embraces a much longer period of time ; but at many 
different points, remote from each other, numerous 
and distinct remains of the most characteristic or- 
ganisms have been discovered, proving at once that 
the formation is everywhere the same, and that it is 
the old red sandstone. Considering the great abun- 
dance in which some of these occur, it is not a little 
surprising that they should have escaped the notice of 
the able geologist to whom we are indebted for the most 
recent survey of the county, more especially as some 
of them had been previously indicated by Mr Milne. 

These remains we shall now notice. They are of 
two kinds, animal and vegetable. 

The existence of molluscs, Crustacea, reptiles, and 
fishes, at the time of the deposition of this sandstone, 
has now been sufficiently proved. That the latter should 


have existed at an early era, in vastly greater numbers 
than other vertebrates, is what might be expected from 
a variety of causes. In the present day they are greatly 
more numerous than any other class of the higher 
animals, amounting to no fewer than 9000 ; and 1800 
fossil species are now known.* Of these 105 species, 
or, if we include doubtful species, 151, belong to the 
old red sandstone. All of them, however, with very 
few exceptions, are confined to the middle and lower 
divisions of the system, which have no representatives 
in the south of Scotland. The numerical proportion 
which we now observe, they have maintained, therefore, 
in the primeval world, which might have been expected 
from the circumstance that the ocean then occupied 
a vastly greater space than it now does, and was 
scarcely broken up into seas by the intervention of 
extensive continental lands — it was, therefore, the 
principal abode both of vegetable and animal life, and 
its appropriate inhabitants form the chief remains of 
these eras now to be met with in the deposits formed 
from its waters. 

The most interesting remains of this kind hitherto 
found in the Roxburghshire red sandstone, are those 
of the winged-fish, (Ptcrichthys) and of the more 
highly organised species named Iloloptychius. The 

* Most of these have been discovered by M. Agassi/,. Cnvier was 
acquainted with only 92 distinct species; by the researches of the 
distinguished naturalist just named, the amount was raised to 1600. 
The enumeration given above is that of M. Marcel de Serres, in his 
interesting Lectuie, De Vancien montle compare au monde nouvemt, 
published in the French " L'lnstitut," April, J 854. 


former is confined to this formation, and the latter is 
regarded as the most characteristic fossil of its upper 
beds ; their occurrence, therefore, removes all doubt 
as to the precise nature of this formation, and defi- 
nitely settles the question as to its geological rela- 
tions. The rock in which the pterichthys occurs is a 
yellowish- white sandstone, in the neighbourhood of 
FoTniherst. The specimens are not numerous ; and 
although they are in a fragmentary state, yet the 
fragments are distinct and well preserved, and appear 
to belong to several different species. One species 
has been identified by Mr Hugh Miller, so well 
known for his successful investigation of this forma- 
tion, and has been named 'pterichthys major.* Two 
abdominal, or rather thoracic, plates remain entire, 
and a portion of one of the fins or paddles. The 
colour is a reddish-brown, occasionally tinged with 
purple, and portions are bluish-white. The whole 
surface is strongly granulated. Calculating the entire 
proportions of the animal from the parts preserved, 
it could not be less than two feet in length, by about 
eight inches broad. These are probably the greatest 
dimensions which these anomalous fishes attained, 
and the different species range from that size to an 
inch in length. 

In this specimen the fin-like appendages are broad 
and strong, and still continue to dilate to the point 
where broken off. It is difficult, on examining them, 

• The dotted lines indicate what is supposed to have been the 
general outline of the figure. 


to acquiesce in M. Agassiz's opinion that they were 
solely weapons of defence. They nearly correspond 
in position to the pectoral fins of ordinary fishes, 
though placed nearer the head ; and we cannot but 
suppose that they would assist in supporting and 
balancing the anterior part of the body, which is mas- 
sive and heavy, and also in guiding the direction of 
its movements under the impulse given to it by the 
tail. This supposition is quite consistent with the 
belief that they may have been also used, when occa- 
sion required, as defensive weapons. 

A specimen has been obtained from the same loca- 
lity which differs considerably from all the specimens 
referable to this genus we have examined or seen 
figured. It is apparently the dorsal portion of a 
species allied to pterichthys, but the absence of all 
other parts prevents its character being determined. 
The surface is very convex, divided into several areas 
by a sutural line down the middle, and two or three 
transverse lines. The colour is bluish- white, the whole 
surface distinctly shagreened or granulated. If the 
gibbosity in this example has not been caused by some 
accidental pressure at the time of its interment, it 
will very likely be found to constitute a separate 

Other remains from the same quarter belong to 
pterichthys, or the nearly allied coccosteus ; but they 
are too imperfect and fragmentary to enable us to 
reconstruct the external form of the animal so far as 
to determine the species. 

The genus holoptychius contains other examples of 


those singular forms which peopled the wide-spread- 
ing ocean of the pre- Adamite world. It indicates a 
great advance in organisation from pterichthys ; pre- 
sents the general outline which we now associate with 
the idea of a fish ; and has a similar covering of 
scales. It is from the peculiar character and con- 
sistency of these scales that we derive such frequent 
indications of the prevalence of the fish, at the time 
when the upper beds of the old red were deposited. 
Forming strong, thick, elliptical plates, internally of 
bone, and protected externally by a coating of enamel, 
these scales were admirably fitted to resist destruc- 
tive agents, both mechanical and chemical, and being 
probably easily detached when the animal was dead, 
they seem to have been scattered abroad in great 
profusion. It is usually impressions of the scales that 
occur, with whitish opalescent animal matter adhe- 
ring. The figure on the plate will give a good idea of 
their appearance. The surface is covered with large 
undulating furrows and ridges, often running into one 
another, and breaking down near the border into de- 
tached tubercles. The style of sculpture and enamel- 
ling affords a very characteristic example of that class 
of fossil fishes, which M. Agassiz names Ganoid. 
The size of these scales varies from somewhat more 
than an inch to upwards of three inches in length. 

Along with these scales, tuberculated plates, and 
impressions of plates, have occurred, which are pro- 
bably portions of the occipital bones of the fish. 
Scales of a different form and character as well as of 
much smaller size, have likewise been meet with in 


various places, and probably belonged to different 
species of holoptychius, for no fewer than six species 
of the genus have now been determined. It may be 
observed, at the same time, that, in the same species, 
the scales must, for obvious reasons, have varied 
greatly in size and other conditions, in adaptation to 
the different parts of the body which they were in- 
tended to protect ; and we must not therefore be too 
hasty in inferring specific distinction from this cir- 
cumstance alone. 

The presence of these scales may be discovered 
wherever the sandstone is exposed to any extent, 
almost over the whole area of the formation in the 
county. They occur either as insulated specimens in 
the more solid rock, or mixed up with the red frag- 
mentary matter forming thin beds. As localities 
which have afforded them in the former way, we may 
cite, L.inton-hill, Tudhope, Ferniherst, Denholm-hill, 
Troney-hill, Simla ws-quarry,* and Plewlands, near 
St. Boswells. It is in the bed of Rule water that we 
have chiefly observed them occurring in beds. Where 
the strata are exposed on the banks of this stream, 
we frequently observe one of them to consist of a 
coarsely granular greyish- white rock, of a pretty 
compact texture, having both above and below it a 
thin layer of incoherent reddish matter. This is 
locally known as the dent-band, and is the chief 
repository of these ichthyolific remains. They are 
disseminated through the solid portion of the rock, 
and a fragment of it can seldom be seen in the chan- 
nel of the stream without affording indications of 

PLATE, 6. 

,%?. /. 

Fossil MsA <?/ 't&e G&ZI& 




■ . 

J. Gellatly. LithofJ. Edin^ 


them ; we lately noticed a few masses lying in Bed- 
rule quarry, which contained them in abundance. The 
accompanying strata of dent are often so filled with 
them that they may be called fish-beds. The scales 
are much broken and comminuted, and although a 
continuous edge may be frequently observed of two 
inches in length, on being displaced it breaks into frag- 
ments along with the crumbling matter to which it 
partially adheres. Where these deposits are most fos- 
siliferous, the animal remains compose a considerable 
proportion of their contents. They will probably be 
found to contain also teeth and bones of the head of ho- 
loptychius ; although these, from their greater weight, 
are less transportable than the scales, and would 
probably be deposited for the most part at a lower 
level.* These beds may be observed at various points 
in the course of the Rule, and they have likewise 
been found nearly as far as the southern extremity of 
the formation, in the vicinity of Leap-hill. We last 
examined them in a series of the strata cropping out 
on the northern bank of the river, just above the old 
quarry near the bridge at Spittal. Apparently the 
same strata, dipping to the north-east, which is the 
normal direction throughout the basin of the Rule, 
are well exposed on the north bank of the Teviot, 
where the river, suddenly turned northward by the 
embankments below Menslaws, strikes against the 

* We possess a very distinct relict of what appears to be the jaw 
bone of a fish, from the sandstone of Troney-hill quarry. It is about 
two inches in length, and had a serrated process attached to it when 
first observed, but which afterwards crumbled to pieces. 



high bank a little above the farm house of Barnhills. 
Here we again meet with a good example of the dent 
band, and the stratum is found well filled with scales, 
a few feet above the level of the river, surmounted by 
a layer of massive rock, which bears impressions of 
scales on its underside where it projects beyond the 
general level. 

Similar fossiliferous strata will in all probability 
occur in the beds of the other rivers intersecting the 
sandstone ; particularly in those of the Jed, where 
the entire depth of the formation is in several instances 
exposed to view. 

It would appear to result from the facts above de- 
tailed, and from others elsewhere determined, that 
neither the pterichthyes nor holoptychii, considered 
as genera, are so distinctive of the lower and upper 
beds of the formation as was at one time supposed. 
Of the ten species of the former now ascertained, 
P. liydrophilus alone has been regarded as pertaining 
to the upper beds. From what has been stated above, 
it appears that P. major must now be conjoined with 
it, as ranging from the lower to the very highest 
limits of the formation, and where it begins to 
show points of assimilation to the coal measures. 
Holoptychius, now containing six species, seems, 
under different specific forms, to pervade the whole 
system ; and although remarkably distinctive of it 
as a system, it has ceased to afford marks of equal 
value for discriminating the different subordinate 
formations of which the system consists. 

Remains of vegetables are by no means few in 


number; and we think it likely that many species will 
yet be discovered of a higher order than were supposed 
to have existed at this early period of the world's 
history. As might be expected, the relicts of marine 
vegetation most frequently present themselves ; and 
of these the impressions are generally obscure. One 
of the most plentiful and distinct is represented by 
the accompanying figure, {fig. 1st.) In the red quarry 
at Denholm-hill, a stratum of soft yellowish sand- 
stone occurs, about six feet below the surface, which 
contains impressions of this plant in considerable 
quantity. One or several linear stems diverge from 
a point, and throw off as they grow upwards, at acute 
angles, branches or leaves very similar to the stem, 
which are in their turn sub-divided into others. The 
width of the stalks is generally about a quarter of an 
inch, the length often a foot, and the substance of 
the plant is frequently inclosed, but completely con- 
verted into stone. The colour is brown, blackish- 
brown, or greyish. It occurs also in the white stone 
quarry, in the form of carbonaceous impressions. 
There can be little doubt that this is a fucoid plant ; 
the general mode of growth greatly resembles that of 
certain sea-weeds ; and in some specimens we have 
seen the branches dilated a little at the extremities, 
as those of living fuci are sometimes seen to do, in 
order to afford space for the fructification. It is de- 
serving of remark, that the plant is seldom observed 
lying horizontally on the rock in a direction parallel 
with its stratification, but rising up through the layers 
so as only to be seen when the stone is broken across ; 


as if it had been standing erect or kept buoyant in 
water, while the stony matter to which it owes its 
preservation was deposited around it. 

A very distinct vegetable impression presents the 
appearance represented hy figure 2. A slab of sand- 
stone, while in a soft state, has received the impres- 
sion very deeply, and had the plant been entire 
would have been easy to determine its characters. 
From a central stem, about half an inch broad, 
branches diverge on one side at regular intervals, 
diminishing somewhat in length as they rise upwards. 
These branchlets again send out small stalks, proba- 
bly of leaflets, on both sides. The impressions of the 
branchlets on the other side are wanting, but there 
are indications of them having existed. The length 
of the specimen is one foot three inches, but the lower 
part and top are both wanting. This has evidently 
been a land plant, and its mutilated state may be 
ascribed to its having drifted from some distance. It 
may have been the frond of a fern, or the branch of 
some ligneous plant. 

The best preserved vegetable remain yet found in 
Denholm-hill quarry, is the radical portion of what 
we cannot hesitate to call a species of calamite. 
The lower part is regularly and beautifully rounded, 
bulging and prominent, nearly four inches in diameter. 
About an inch from the bottom it contracts somewhat 
suddenly in two separate stages, and from the upper- 
most sends up a stem about an inch in diameter, and 
nearly of the same length, where it is broken across. 
At the origin of this stem, the small longitudinal 


ridges, observable in the larger reeds, are distinctly 
marked ; and the whole outline of the figure, although 
entirety converted into stone, is as distinct as it could 
have been in the living plant. If it has drifted, there- 
fore, from any distance, it must have been in compa- 
ratively tranquil waters, for the edges are sharply 
defined, and the whole surface uninjured by friction. 

Others of the vegetable fossils from the quarry in 
question, appear to be portions of ligneous plants ; 
one of them is of considerable size, five or six inches 
in diameter, and what appear to be the longitudinal 
fibres of the wood can be traced. There are no traces 
of the sculptured markings which would probably have 
been presented by a specimen of these dimensions had 
it belonged to the sandstone of the coal formation. 
It must have formed part of a tree of considerable 
size ; and one would be almost tempted to say of a 
dicotyledonous family. Another fossil seems to be 
the branch of another similar ligneous plant, forking 
off into several smaller branches. 

These are the principal vegetable remains hitherto 
found in the quarries at Denholm-hill, and others 
will, no doubt, be soon discovered, for the workmen 
are now looking out for them, and feel an interest in 
the subject, from being made to understand its im- 
portance. They speak of an impression resembling 
the head of a thistle, and another like the backbone 
of a fish, as having abounded in a stratum of the 
quarry which is now covered up. When Mr Hugh 
Miller published his work on the old red sandstone, 
he states that a small fibrous specimen, exhibiting a 


ligneous fibre, was the only one in which he found 
aught approaching to proof of a terrestrial origin. 
That specimen, on being examined microscopically by 
Mr Nicol, has now been ascertained to be a true wood 
of the coniferous family of plants. We have thus an 
example of a vegetable high in the scale of organiza- 
tion, and that too not in the newest formations of the 
system. It is to be expected, therefore, that in the 
latter we should meet with others still more advanced, 
which seems to be the case with some of the speci- 
mens previously alluded to. When we give due 
weight to these considerations, and connect them with 
the ripple-markings so frequently seen in the sand- 
stone of this district, it seems evident that these de- 
posits have been made often in shallow and compara- 
tively tranquil waters ; and that land, along with 
fresh water, and the other conditions necessary for 
the growth of terrestrial vegetation, existed in some 
extent, and probably at no great distance. All recent 
discoveries tend to indicate a greatly more advanced 
stage, both in the animal and vegetable kingdom, in 
the era of this formation, than we were previously 
authorised to assign to it. 

The conclusiveness of the proofs afforded by these 
organic remains, that this formation is identical with 
the old red, or devonian, of other places, removes 
all ground for the expectation, so long anxiously en- 
tertained, of coal being found in the interior of this 
county. The case may be stated in such a way as to 
render this obvious even to those who are least con- 
versant with geology. Wherever sandstone deposits 


of any extent occur in Scotland, they must belong to 
one or other of the three following formations : the 
New Red Sandstone, the Coal Formation, or the Old 
Red. These formations, considered in regard to 
their age, occur in the order in which they are named, 
the last being oldest and undermost. It is in asso- 
ciation with the sandstone of the coal formation alone, 
that carbonised vegetables occur in such quanti- 
ties as to form beds of workable coal. Digging 
into the new red or variegated sandstone is not 
a hopeless undertaking, because, if the coal formation 
happen to be present, it must lie under it, and there- 
fore the coal may in this way be reached. But to 
perforate the old red, with the same view, is evidently 
fruitless, and only removes us further from the object 
of our search ; for if the old red occupy the surface, 
the coal formation is wanting in the locality; and the 
order of superposition among rocks being invariable, 
it cannot exist beneath. Want of attention to these 
simple facts, in connection with the occasional diffi- 
culty of determining the precise character of the sand-, 
stone formation, has been the cause of much expence 
and disappointment in searching for coal, both in this 
quarter and many other similar places. In the neigh- 
bourhood of Bedrule, Maxton Manse, at Hunthill, &c, 
trials have been made, and proved unsuccessful. In 
the last mentioned locality, if the accounts are to be 
relied on, a few strata seem to have been deposited, 
which, from the accompanying shales, vegetable and 
animal organisms, &c, may be regarded as really be- 
longing to the coal formation ; but the red sandstone 


lies immediately beneath them, and they are quite in- 
considerable in extent, it would be vain, therefore, 
to expect a seam of any value. It is of importance to 
remember that, as the coal formation may exist with- 
out coal, so small portions of coal may likewise be 
present in certain other formations without proving 
that these belong to the coal measures. If pieces of 
that mineral have been found, as is asserted, at Bed- 
rule, near Ancrum, &c, these must be regarded as 
accidental and out of the natural course, and would 
not justify an expectation to which so many other 
circumstances are opposed.* 

With the exception of iron, which, in the form of 
peroxide, is so plontifully diffused throughout its mass, 
this formation is very poor in minerals and metals. 
A thin coating of calcareous spar, or quartz crystals, 
is frequently observed on the surface; and portions of 
lead ore have occurred in a mottled red and white 
sandstone near Abbotrule. 

The upper beds of the old red sandstone, consisting 
of the white quartzose rock, as well as that of a 
reddish-brown colour, constitutes the principal build- 
ing stone throughout the central districts of Rox- 

• Remains of the holopty chins would not of themselves determine 
the formation to be the old red, for, although that evidently consti- 
tuted its metropolis, stragglers have crossed the boundary and entered 
the coal measures, iiut in the present state of our knowledge, the 
occurrence of pterichthys, without the aid of any other consideration, 
must be regarded as conclusive ;— a striking proof of what importance 
a seemingly trivial fact may become, both in a geological and eco- 
nomical point of view. 

PLATE 6 &8 

I&Tzc&Ufi? ma?or &?y?z. Jerw&iersir, 

/ . \ 

""^■W. ■].".;, ijrffcj 


Radial/, ^or//<?7? of a. ffee<£ , /rain, like, 
/?/t/ Jfarf « < ?and.vt0rt(? of fe.nAo/r/?Af/ 

SffJarXy, &?£';£<&* 


Wrghshire. If the sandstone of the coal formation 
forms the best material for this purpose the country 
affords, this may be considered next to it in quality. 
The hardest and best coloured varieties, indeed, can 
scarcely be regarded as inferior, and the stone is always 
free from iron pyrites, the decomposition of which, 
when exposed to the air, disfigures the finest build- 
ings, (as in Edinburgh, for example,) composed of 
the carboniferous sandstones. An experienced eye 
can generally determine the difference even in small 
specimens. The stone of the old red formation is less 
obviously crystalline and granular, less rough to the 
touch, with a somewhat earthy feel, and even in the 
whitest varieties, a greenish tinge may generally be ob- 
served. Under the chisel it is found to be more readily 
workable, and not a few of the beds are too soft for the 
finer kinds of architecture. The different beds in a 
quarry, however, vary considerably in respect to hard- 
ness. Many of the largest and finest blocks are in- 
jured by small nodules of brown or greenish pieces of 
slate and earthy mater. 

Examples of the limestones found in this formation 
occur in several localities. The principal of these are 
at Hunthill, and the hill above Bed rule. In the 
latter it is in immediate association with beds of sand- 
stone, sometimes a good deal altered, and surmounted, 
towards the summit of the hill, by trap. It is coarse, 
porous, and siliceous, with veins of quartz, jasper, and 
brown iron ore, and generally of a yellowish colour. 
At Hunthill there are several distinct beds. This 
chertz rock has evidently been much altered, and de- 


prived of a great proportion of its calcareous matter. 
Hence it is that, although it has been burnt in both 
these places, there is no inducement to continue the 
practice, more especially as the distance and expence 
of coal would require a more productive material to 
render it remunerative. 

The character of the scenery, as far as it depends 
on this formation, may be inferred from the descrip- 
tion previously given. The low position of the depo- 
sit, occupying a kind of depression in the older rocks, 
and the horizontality of the beds, prevent it producing 
any very striking features in the general physiognomy 
of the county. It seldom rises into prominent ridges, 
and wherever it takes a part in any scene of a grander 
or more imposing character, it is entirely owing to 
plutonic agency. But what it wants in this respect 
is frequently compensated for by portions of the 
strata being carried away, and considerable pre- 
cipices thus formed. It is accordingly on the banks 
of the secondary rivers flowing towards the Teviot- 
from the north and south, which have cut for them- 
selves a deep bed, along an anticlinal axis, as- it is 
called in geological language, in the soft strata, that 
the most favourable examples of the scenery of the 
old red district are to be found. They form deep and 
narrow defiles, often finely wooded, in which scaur, 
and wood, and water, and green mound-like banks, 
are blended into scenes of sequestered and varied 
beauty, such as the general aspect of the country 
scarcely promises. The high scaurs are generally in 
one place, confined to one bank ; and the horizontal 


lines, in this nearly perpendicular wall, are sufficiently 
broken by the windings of the stream and overhang- 
ing wood, to prevent them becoming monotonous ; 
while their deep tints present a mass of colour, so 
agreeably contrasting with the fringing foliage, as to 
add materially to the general effect. Though desti- 
tute, therefore, of the most characteristic features of 
rock scenery, properly so called, they are possessed 
of others which form a good substitute, and which 
cannot fail to recommend them to the eye of taste. 
The most interesting examples of this style of land- 
scape are to be found in the lower course of the Jed ; 
and, though not on a large scale, they have long en- 
joyed a well-merited reputation. Others, of a similar 
kind, occur on the Ale near Ancrum, on the Rule 
near Wells, on the Kale, and in the Dean above 
Denholm. As an instance of the same thing lying 
in the region of the conglomerate, may be mentioned 
the wooded dell at Hassendean-burn, above Lurdcn. 
The precipitous banks in this spot are of a remarkably 
sombre hue ; there are no lines of stratification, and 
the projections are in blunt or rounded masses, with 
no appearance of the numerous small angles, naturally 
formed by the breakage of stone, having a minutely 
granular structure. 

Of the two portions of the coal formation found in 
the county, the one in the extreme north-east, the 
other in the south-west, the former is the least con- 
siderable, being merely an offshoot from the main 
body lying in Berwickshire and Northumberland. 
Commencing about two miles west from Kelso, it lies 


around that town, and occupies the valley of the 
Tweed below it on both sides of the river. Owing, 
However, to the alluvium which covers the greater 
part of the low ground near the river, its boundaries 
cannot be very accurately traced. Grey, white, and 
red sandstones, dark coloured shales, limestones and 
earthy marls, in varied combinations, compose the 
series of strata. The character of the fossils at once 
indicates the nature of the formation ; they are such 
as are peculiar to the coal-sandstones.* The beds, 
always distinctly stratified, generally dip, at a small 
angle, towards the east. It forms the general building 
stone in the district, and is extensively quarried for 
that purpose at Broxlaw, Sprouston, and other places; 
in the former it dips at 30° south. Quartz and mica, 
in a basis of clay or felspar, are the chief constituents, 
and a considerable quantity of lime is frequently pre- 
sent. The shales are in thin beds, and usually of a 
dark blue or grey colour. The limestones are often 
very compact, dark or light grey, inclining to green, 
and sometimes to yellow. At Hadden, where it is 
quarried for burning, it forms a thick irregular bed, 
and has undergone considerable metamorphosis from 
its vicinity to the igneous rocks. 

All the appearances presented by these rocks seem 
to indicate that they belong to the lowest division of 

* Specimens may be seen in the Kelso Museum. A series of the 
simple minerals, rocks, and fossils found in the county, which might 
be obtained without much difficulty, would be a useful and important 
addition to this interesting and well-kept little collection of objects 
in Natural History. 


the carboniferous system, and that they are below 
the level at which workable coal is usually found. 

The other part of this formation occurring in the 
county, covers a more considerable area, occupying 
the basin of the Liddel and its tributaries on the 
west, extending as far north as Windburgh and the 
Maiden Paps, and skirting along the south-eastern 
border to a point beyond the Carter bar. It is merely 
an outlying portion of the great coal-field which has 
its principal development in Northumberland, Cum- 
berland, and Dumfries-shire. In its more important 
features it bears a great resemblance to that which 
occurs near Berwick ; indeed there is every reason to 
believe that the whole of these carboniferous rocks in 
the south of Scotland and adjacent parts of England, 
are precisely of the same class, and referable to 
the same epoch. It is safer to regard the character 
of some of the Liddesdale sandstones, as determined 
by the fossiliferous rocks with which they are asso- 
ciated, than by their colour or lithological aspect, for 
some of them have a great resemblance to the old red 
sandstone, as in the vicinity of Windburgh and Daw- 
stone Rig. Most of those towards the northern ex- 
tremity of the formation appear to lie under the 
workable coal, and some of them are probably coeval, 
or nearly so, with the newest rocks of the old red 
series. In the vicinity of Stobs lime-work, also above 
Meadowcleuch, and at the head of Kerry-burn, at- 
tempts have been made to work coal, but they have been 
either altogether unsuccessful, or the beds have proved 
thin and poor in quality. The coal Beam wrought on 


the top of the Carter, near the second mentioned of 
these localities, did not exceed 16 inches in thickness. 
Professor Nicol is of opinion that, with the exception 
of a very small portion perhaps of those in the ex- 
treme south-western angle of the county, all the strata 
here lie far below the true coal measures, and that 
there is no hope of this valuable mineral being ever 
found to any extent in this quarter of Roxburghshire. 
The strata peculiar to the formation occur through- 
out the district, and consist of varieties of sandstone, 
shale, and limestone. The former is the most abun- 
dant rock ; when the beds are thin, as is frequently 
the case, they are often repeated, and occasionally 
they are of great thickness. The colour is usually 
white or yellowish, and not unfrequently with a red- 
dish tinge. Coal fossils are to be found in these 
strata, but, in general, they are by no means plenti- 
ful. The shales, most frequently dull grey or bluish, 
are intermingled, in thin layers, with the sandstone 
beds. The limestone is abundant in many places, 
often forming beds from 10 to 14 feet in thickness. 
Before the opening of the Hawick and Edinburgh 
railway, much of the lime used in the county was ob- 
tained from this quarter, and some of the works are 
rather extensive. The limestones of Lariston, which 
have been regarded as producing the best lime, are of 
a dark grey or bluish colour ; the rock hard, with 
numerous cavities filled with iron pyrites and calcare- 
ous spar, and containing marine shells. The rock at 
Stobs limeworks is light yellowish-grey or greenish, 
and seems nearly destitute of fossils. At Limekiln 


Edge, the principal bed is about twelve feet thick, 
and curiously undulated strata occur, which have no- 
thing to correspond with them either above or below. 
Many instances occur of great changes having been 
produced on the limestone by the action of the igneous 
rocks. One of these, in this district, has procured 
some celebrity, at a place called Robert's Linn, on the 
west side of Windburgh, where rocks thus changed 
are displayed below a waterfall formed by one of the 
sources of the Slitrig. Beneath a bed of greenstone, 
is another called the Jasper-rock, from its being com- 
posed of rather coarse red agates or chalcedony, which 
have been used for seal-stones and other ornamental 
purposes. The stratum of these stones is mixed with 
greenish clay, lime, and quartz sand, and Professor 
Nicol regards the whole as marly limestones altered 
by trap. Similar rocks, he states, occur further west, 
and also in Riccarton-burn and in the hill near Old 
Saughtree, where, along with the red, there is also 
compact milky flint, approaching to white chalcedony. 

The dip of these strata varies very much. Some- 
times nearly horizontal, at other times they incline 
south and west under a low angle, and occasionally, 
as at Thorlieshope, the limestone beds are nearly 
vertical. In Whithope burn, the sandstone strata 
at one place form a complete curve, like the arch of 
a gothic gate-way. 

Such are the stratified rocks which occupy so large 
a portion of the county ; the only others referable to 
the same class are certain alluvial deposits, of com- 
paratively recent formation, to which reference will 



be afterwards made. Among the other great class of 
rocks, which owe their origin to igneous action, there 
are three formations which claim our notice, namely, 
the porphyries, trap-tufas, and trap properly so 

The first of these is the most extensively developed, 
at least in continuous masses, and in each of the three 
separate localities where it occurs, it presents consi- 
derable modifications in its general character. By 
far the most extensive formation of this kind lies in 
the south-eastern angle of the county, forming the 
region of the Cheviots properly so called, and extending 
from the border line to the lower lands below More- 
battle, where it meets the old red sandstone. These 
rocks are sometimes called felspathic, because com- 
pact felspar forms their principal base ; but with this 
exception, their mineral character and external ap- 
pearance vary so much, that the description of 
them in any one locality would not apply to them 
in another. The structure is seldom compact and 
crystalline, but loose and earthy, so that even in the 
freshest examples, decomposition appears to be. going 
on. The most compact varieties occur near Hownam, 
Attonburn, and Yetholm. The prevailing colours are 
various shades of red and brown, with occasional tints 
of purple, lilac, or yellow. The following summary 
may be regarded as embracing the most important 
varieties. " A yellow rock of compact felspar, with 
crystals of thin or glassy felspar, and occasionally of 
hornblende. Sometimes, as near the Jed, west of 
Rink, and in the Beaumont, above Yetholm, this be- 


comes a mixture of felspar with siliceous matter, in 
veins or nodules of calcedony or jasper. Another 
variety is claystone, decomposing in angular frag- 
ments. Some, near Yetholm, are a yellowish por- 
phyry, with much light-green hornblende. In the 
hill behind Kirk- Yetholm, it is a dark-brown or black 
pitch-stone, containing veins of red siliceous iron-ore, 
and in external aspect closely resembling basalt. 
This is also true of many varieties to the north of 
that place, which at first sight can hardly be distin- 
guished from trap. This, or the porphyries, or per- 
haps an intermediate rock, forms the whole table-land 
in the east of the county, and even extends into Eng- 
land, only the low ground along the Teviot and 
Tweed being sandstone. The porphyries are best 
studied on the Beaumont, the Oayle, or upper part of 
the Oxnam ; and near Swinside, on the last, may be 
seen overlying with the sandstone and greywacke. ,, * 
The general direction of these porphyries is to the 
N. N. E. Their effect on the character of the scenery 
is similar to that of the trap rocks. They generally 
form conical hills, either insulated, or grouped into 
small clusters, the sides frequently steep, but seldom 
broken or precipitous. Sometimes they are round- 
backed ; and they never present, from whatever 
direction they may be viewed, any thing like serra- 
tures or abrupt prominences, but the eye glides 
smoothly over the graceful curves and undulations of 
their outline, till it rests on the sweet pastoral valleys 

• Nicol's Guide to the Geology of Scotland , p. 47, 



that wind round their feet. This absence of rocky 
escarpments and inaccessible steeps, permits every- 
where the growth of a short rich sward, which has 
long rendered the Cheviots one of the best sheep 
walks in the country, and has given their name to a 
well-known breed, singularly analogous in character 
to the country which gave them birth, which may be 
said to occupy an intermediate place between the 
alpine lands of the north, the appropriate abode of 
the hardy goat- like black-faces, and the newer for- 
mations of England, whose rich pastures are so well 
fitted to support the more bulky forms of Leicestera 
and Southdowns. 

The most remarkable hills in the lower valley of 
the Tweed, and conspicuous far and near almost 
throughout Teviotdale, are the Eildons. Their form, 
position, and colour at once indicate their disconnec- 
tion with any thing of the same kind in their vicinity; 
and it is scarcely surprising that, in a region where 
legendary fable once flourished, it should have at- 
tempted to account for their peculiarities, and made 
them the scene of many a wondrous event. A- closer 
examination of their internal structure is not less 
interesting to the geologist, than their external fea~ 
tures are striking to the eye. 

They have been projected upwards through the 
greyvvacke, which appears to encompass them on all 
hands, and the beds of the latter rock have been 
hardened by them, and raised at considerable angles 
on their sides. They consist chiefly of compact yellow, 
brown or reddish felspar, generally with disseminated 


crystals of felspar, and sometimes with the addition 
of minute crystals of quartz and hornblende. The 
porphyritic structure, however, often almost entirely 
disappears, when the rock has the aspect of a compact 
felspar. An occasional tendency to imperfect strati- 
fication has been observed, but this must not be con- 
sidered inconsistent with their igneous origin. On the 
westernmost hill the rock is so hard as to strike fire 
with steel ; on the eastern eminence it is softer. 

In a quarry above the village of Bowden, near the 
south-western corner of the smallest hill, the felspar 
occurs in a form which it has not been observed to 
assume in any other part of Scotland. It forms beau- 
tiful flesh coloured columns, between thirty and forty 
feet in length, and having from three to five sides. 
They are nearly vertical, and resemble the pillars 
which are so common in basalt and other trap rocks, 
although scarcely so regularly formed. 

Besides these two distinct porphyry districts, there 
is another formation of the same class, less clearly 
developed, in the south-west extremity of the county. 
It appears chiefly in the form of beds and veins among 
the transition rocks. We have seen masses of it 
projecting from the sides of the Wisp hill, where the 
superficial covering has been swept away by descend- 
ing torrents ; and a good example of it may be seen 
in the bed of the stream that skirts the road a little 
beyond Mosspaul Inn. A specimen from that loca- 
lity now before us, is of a fine yellow, inclining to 
flesh-colour, of a somewhat earthy texture, with a 
few fragments of white crystals scattered through it. 


The change in the appearance of the road beyond 
Mosspaul, is owing to the metal being chiefly com- 
posed of this felspar ; and to its presence we must 
doubtless ascribe, in some degree, the peculiar charac- 
ter of that romantic pass, which unites the vale of 
the Teviot with that of Ewes- water, as well as the 
striking appearance of the hills, lofty and steep, which 
surround the heads of the last mentioned stream. 
Professor Nicol names this transition porphyry. 

Trap-tufa is an amygdaloidal rock, consisting of a 
base in which are numerous almond-shaped concre- 
tions, and a variety of fragments of other rocks. The 
base is commonly soft and crumbling, usually of a 
dirty grey or brown colour ; and as it is readily de- 
composed when exposed to the weather, the hills in 
which it prevails are smooth and rounded in their 
outline. It does not occur in great abundance, and 
does not exercise a very decided influence on the 
geological character or physical features of the coun- 
ty. Minto hills afford a good example of the form in 
which this rock shows itself. In a yellowish-grey 
basis are imbedded portions of trap, lydian-stone, and 
grey wacke, the latter somewhat altered and silicified ; 
this occupies the top and shoulders of the hills, but 
in the lower parts the sandstone resumes its predomi- 
nance. This tufa is commonly associated with augitic 
trap in forming hills; as at Troneyhill and Kuberslaw; 
in the latter a dirty grey variety, crumbling and de- 
composed, crops out on the north-east acclivity, and 
forms a somewhat distinct protuberance. A yellow 
variety, containing fragments of felspar, quartz, sand- 


stone, and trap, is found behind Ancrum Crag 
house. Other modifications occur in different places, 
not however of sufficient extent or importance to call 
for special notice. 

The trap, properly so called, is a very important 
member of the mountain rocks of the county, as it is 
owing to its action that much of the diversity of sur- 
face we now witness has been produced. In the great 
majority of instances this trap has a somewhat pecu- 
liar character, and although it is usually called green- 
stone, it has a very different appearance from the rock 
so named in the central division of the country ; that 
of Salisbury Craigs, for example. The latter, as the 
name imports, is of a decidedly greenish tint, some- 
what roughly granular, not remarkably hard ; and 
contains, in veins and drusy cavities, a consider- 
able variety of simple minerals. Very few of these 
characters belong to the Roxburghshire rock of the 
same name. Its colour is very dark, occasionally 
with a ffreyish rather than greenish tinge ; very hard 
and compact ; containing scarcely any veins, and 
nearly destitute of simple minerals. In some re- 
spects it is very like clinkstone, and, in others, ap- 
proaches very closely to basalt, even containing, in 
some cases (as at Bonchester hill), crystals of olivine, 
so often a characteristic of the last mentioned rock. 
It may be called transition greenstone, to distinguish 
it from that of the central division, which may be 
regarded as secondary greenstone. 

This dark augitic substance forms the principal 
eruptive agent throughout the county, and not only 


composes the principal mountain summits in the old 
sandstone district, and in many other localities, but 
covers, it is supposed almost continuously, a consider- 
able area east of Penielheugh, and surrounding the Kelso 
sandstones. In this area it was formerly thought to 
be confined to the principal elevations ; but Professor 
Nicol regards it as occupying in the east of the county 
most of the high undulating land beyond the imme- 
diate banks cf the river. A glance at the map will 
indicate its supposed limits ; but as the alluvium 
often forms a thick covering, and the ground is highly 
cultivated, its continuity at every point is not to be 
considered as demonstrated. 

In the lower basin of the Teviot, Penielheugh is 
the principal conspicuous elevation formed by it ; it 
appears to have forced its way upwards through an 
opening in the sandstone-strata, and overrun the sur- 
face, thus forming the cap and shoulders of the hill. 
Several summits in the vicinity of Penielheugh, Lan- 
ton hill, Dunian, Euberslaw, Minto Craigs, South- 
dean hill, Windburgh, and not a few of the most 
considerable heights in Liddesdale, and elsewhere, 
are composed of this rock. In the sandstones of Lid- 
desdale, beds and dykes of trap are of frequent 
occurrence. It has a tendency to assume a columnar 
form, as may be well seen on the south side of Ru- 
berslaw, and breaks off, after long exposure, in large 
angular blocks, which strew the sides and bottom of 
the hills. Near Ancrum House, it contains large 
crystals of felspar, and thus becomes porphyritic — 
near Maxton, it is amygdaloidal, containing calcareous 


spar, green-earth, and steatite. Felspar and olivine 
are found in the trap near Stitchell, and in some 
instances it appears marked with concentric veins of 
brown and black. 

True clinkstone, with which this dark greenstone 
has been often confounded, occurs at Timpendean 
behind the old tower ; it is very hard and splintery, 
and in large pieces emits very distinctly, when struck, 
the ringing sound, from which it obtains its name. In 
the same locality an insulated mass of light-red fels- 
par occurs. 

In the coal strata of Liddesdale, as already men- 
tioned, dykes of greenstone are frequent ; in other 
parts of the county, this is not the case ; but there is 
one of so remarkable a character as to merit parti- 
cular attention. It is a continuous belt of greenstone, 
varying in width from twelve to upwards of twenty 
feet — sometimes reaching thirty feet — completely tra- 
versing the county from east to west, and dividing it, 
as it were, into two equal halves. It enters the county 
near Upper Hindhope, towards the southern ex- 
tremity of Oxnam parish, and after running for about 
seven miles in a direction due west, it turns a little 
to the north west, and crosses the county by Abbot- 
rule, Kirkton, and Hawick, leaving it on crossing the 
Ale, not far from the point where the parishes of 
Ashkirk and Roberton meet. It thus traverses nearly 
all the variety of formations the county contains. It 
varies a little in composition at different points, but 
is essentially throughout a dark-coloured greenstone, 
containing nodules of calcareous spar, and occasion- 


ally others of quartz or glassy felspar. It is ferruginous 
and more or less magnetic. In some places it is called 
the " Yetlm-rock." If the injected greenstone filled a 
previously existing rupture in the strata, it is difficult 
to conceive what could have caused that rent to be so 
continuous and extensive ; and if the fluid trap forced 
its way upwards and made a passage for itself, ex- 
hausting its force when it reached nearly to the gene- 
ral level of the surrounding country, there is equal 
difficulty in comprehending how, on the one hand, 
its action should have been so limited in regard to 
width, and on the other so regular and extended in 
length. It is a geological phenomenon of much inte- 
rest, but one of which we will probably long remain 
unable to give any satisfactory explanation. 

Such are the different rock formations occurring 
in this quarter, composing the skeleton of this portion 
of the earth's upper crust, and giving its main char- 
acter to the general surface. To soften the harshness 
of its features, and render it capable of being conver- 
ted, by human industry, into the beautiful and fertile 
land it has now become, more loose and earthy ma- 
terials required to be spread over it, more easily 
acted upon by atmospheric influences, and fitted for 
the support of vegetation. These consist of the 
newer or alluvial formations, distinguishable by their 
age, and other characters. Before bestowing on 
them, however, the brief notice which alone our 
space will admit of, we shall advert to a few appear- 
ances which illustrate the relation in which the rock 
formations alreadv described stand to each other. 


The greywacke, as a member of the great silurian 
series, which is of so much interest as presenting us 
with the earliest forms in which animal and vegetable 
life existed, is the oldest, and fundamental formation. 
Upon its highly inclined or vertical strata, the sand- 
stones are accordingly seen lying, in an unconformable 
position, for the most part nearly horizontal. In 
several places the two formations are sufficiently ex- 
posed to show the point of junction. One of the most 
interesting of these has been already alluded to, 
namely, the section above Jedburgh, of which an ac- 
count was first given by Hutton. The river has cut 
through and carried away the whole of the superin- 
cumbent beds, although of very considerable thick- 
ness, and the ridge-like strata of the greywacke are 
seen crossing the river's course in their usual east and 
west direction. A portion of these appears also to have 
been abraded ; they rise a considerable way up the eas- 
tern bank, and after becoming variously broken and 
contorted, are surmounted by the sandstone beds. 
Considerable disturbance and interaction have taken 
place, the greywacke acquiring a red colour, and bro- 
ken down into a bed of breccia. The whole is im- 
pregnated with iron, and a good deal of calcareous 
spar, also coloured red, is mixed with it. 

Farther up the river, beyond Corsheugh, the tran- 
sition strata are again exposed ; they are broken and 
irregular, and occasionally tinged with red. A very 
interesting exhibition of a similar kind may be seen 
at Southdean hill, the lower part of which is composed 
of the usual vertical transition rocks ; these are sur- 


mounted by horizontal beds of sandstone, and the 
whole is overlaid by a covering of greenstone. It is 
near the outskirts of the red sandstone that the points 
of junction are most frequently observed. At Has- 
sendean burn, where the conglomerate occurs as the 
lowest member of the formation, the grey wacke strata 
are seen protruding, with the conglomerate in con- 
tact with them, and so blended with each other that 
specimens can be detached containing portions of 
each. This is near the site of the Old Peel ; another 
point of junction has been laid open to the north-east 
near Standhill. 

A similar relation between the greywacke and the 
Liddesdale and Kelso sandstones no doubt exists; 
although sections have not hitherto been observed in 
which the fact is so clearly demonstrated. 

The eruption of the augitic traps has evidently 
been posterior to the deposition of the stratified for- 
mations. They have been ejected through rents and 
openings in the strata, and after reaching the highest 
point, have overflowed the surface. Were they, in 
all their extent, open to observation, they would ge- 
nerally present the form of a mushroom, the stalk 
representing the conduit upwards, and the pileus or 
cap their superficial expansion. They may be observed 
in various places overlying the stratified rocks, and 
occasionally altering them a good deal in character at 
the points where they come in contact. The case is 
precisely similar with the tufaceous traps. They carry 
with them the evidence of their age, in reference to 
the stratified rocks around them, and of the course 


T)y which they reached their present position, in the 
fragments they enclose of the subjacent deposits 
through which they have forced their passage. 

In some instances the same thing has taken place 
with the porphyries of the Cheviot. " The porphyry 
rests on, or has altered, certain sandstone rocks, to 
which therefore it must be posterior. One of these 
is near Broombaulks, south of Edgerston, where it is 
found overlying a red conglomerate, which is in con- 
sequence much hardened. This conglomerate more 
resembles that of the red sandstone than any rock 
connected with the coal formation, and, we conceive, 
properly belongs to this, though it is impossible to 
decide with certainty. Another place is in the hills 
between JNewbigging and Swinside, on the Oxnam 
water, where sandstone beds are found interposed 
between the porphyry and greywacke. Near Town- 
foot, in the burn, the sandstone is seen of an ochrey- 
yellow colour, soft and decomposed, dipping at 30° to 
S. 30° W., as if below the porphyry, with which, 
however, it is not seen in contact. The greywacke 
and clayslate are somewhat confused, part dipping 
at 45° in the same direction with the sandstone, and 
part at 80° to S. 10° E., the latter being by far the 
most common, and the other apparently accidental, 
but is nearer to the sandstone. In a quarry farther 
west, on a hill above Newbigging, a few beds of har- 
dened sandstone, of a yellowish-white colour, stained 
with dark blotches of reddish-brown, arefound between 
the prophyry and clayslate, and may be traced along 
the hillside towards the former, with which we have 


no doubt they are connected. The sandstone is, 
however, too much altered by its proximity to the 
porphyry to enable us to decide on its true age ; but 
we consider it more probable that it belongs to the 
Teviotdale sandstones than to the southern coal 
formation, whose relation to the igneous rocks it 
therefore leaves undetermined. "* 

In other instances, the phenomena would seem to 
indicate that the porphyries have been elevated before 
the deposition of the red sandstone rocks. The latter 
are occasionally seen almost in contact with the por- 
phyry, in their usual horizontal position, and appa- 
rently so unaltered as to countenance the belief that 
they were deposited as we now find them. 

The alluvial accumulations are similar to those 
found in other parts of the south of Scotland, and do 
not call for a lengthened description. Of these the old- 
est, distinguished by its hardness and tenacity, is the 
boulder clay, which exists to some extent in the lower 
parts of the county. It appears to be most developed in 
the northern parts of the district, and may be seen on 
the banks of the Leader, of considerable thickness, con- 
sisting of tough reddish clay, with embedded boulders 
of greywacke and felspar porphyry. A section is 
exposed at Sprouston quarry, showing a bed of about 
eight feet at its greatest thickness, filled with bould- 
ers of greywacke, porphyry, and basalt. The alluvial 
accumulations in many parts of the county are pro- 
bably somewhat newer, as they are usually looser in 

• Nicol's Geology of Roxburghshire, p. 68. 


consistency and lighter in colour. The most exten- 
sive deposit is on the east side of the Eildons, begin- 
ning near St. Boswells, and running a good way to 
the north-west ; it attains an immense thickness at 
some points. On the banks of the Tweed below 
Kelso, similar alluvial deposits occur. In the upper 
course of the Teviot, the high banks, where they 
occur, are composed of the light-greyish clay formed 
by the disintegration of grey wacke, and the boulders 
are for the most part of small size ; after reaching 
the sandstone formation, we find that colour still 
prevailing, but the boulders are more varied, consist- 
ing frequently of greenstone and basalt. Large 
mounds occur in the valley of the Teviot above An- 
crum-bridge, which, from having been cut into by the 
stream, have a rather curious appearance, in which 
we can at once distinguish, even from a distance, the 
entire absence of rock features. In most of the lower 
parts of the county similar deposits are to be met 
with, but we have seldom any means of ascertaining 
their depth, unless on the banks of rivers, where they 
have been laid bare by the action of the current. 

Arenacious deposits, consisting of sand and gravel, 
are of frequent occurrence, sometimes disposed in 
insolated mounds, at other times in wave-like ridges, 
to which the name Kaims is given. One of these is 
described by Mr Milne as occurring at Liddlebank, 
forming a ridge about half a mile in length, and con- 
sisting of coarse and fine gravel, containing here and 
there horizontal layers of sharp sand. Ridges of a 
similar kind are found about one mile and a half 


north of Kelso, on the road to Stitchell : and one of 
gravel, about fifty or sixty feet high, between Ormis- 
ton and Eckford, on the south side of the Teviot. 

Superficial accumulations of boulders, once no doubt 
more frequent than they are now, are found lying in 
several places. They are usually on the east side of 
considerable eminences ; and this, taken in connection 
with the nature of the rocks themselves, enables us 
to determine with some degree of accuracy the 
quarters whence they have been derived. Many 
considerations, in addition to those just mentioned, 
concur in showing that a powerful diluvial action 
has taken place over the whole district ; and that its 
direction has been from the west. Extensive de- 
nudations have evidently been made among the high 
ridges to the westward, particularly in the neighbour- 
hood of Hawick; and almost all the trap hills have their 
precipitous sides looking to the west, having been on 
that side swept bare, and the naked rock exposed, 
while the transported detritus has been carried round 
to the lee, and heaped up on the sheltered side. The 
conformation arising from this peculiarity, which has 
been denominated Crag and Tail, is; well seen in 
many of the hills flanking the vale of the Teviot, and 
is conspicuous in the Eildons. Among the trans- 
ported blocks, granite occurs in considerable plenty 
in Liddesdale, and examples have been found as far 
to the east as the sources of the Rule. These can 
only be derived from the granitic mountains, the 
Criffel and others, in Kirkcudbright ; so that some 
of them must have been transported a distance of at 


least fifty miles. Many blocks of basalt are likewise 
observed, a rock of rare occurrence in situ in the 
district ; and others are of limestone. The same 
effect is seen in the existence of greywacke boulders 
far to the east of the limits of the formation ; and in 
those of the old red sandstone, scattered over the 
trap district to the east ; while no instance is wit- 
nessed of this transference taking place to the west- 
ward of these respective formations. 

Natural terraces are frequently observed on the 
sides of hills, particularly the Eildons and others in 
their vicinity. These have been described in detail ; 
and they consist not of a single range, but of a series, 
extending from the summit of the hills downwards. 
They average fifty four feet in perpendicular height, 
one above another. These are regarded as having 
been successively the level of the ocean for an indefinite 
period of time. Two such terraces have been noticed 
on Ruberslaw, one of them eight hundred paces in 
length by thirty in breadth, the other six hundred in 
length and of still greater breadth than the other. 
One of these again reappears near the summit of the 
Dunian ridge, and runs along its whole length. Float- 
ing icebergs have been considered as accounting for 
the formation of these terraces. As the present notice 
of the geology of Roxburgh is intended to be chiefly 
descriptive of actual appearances, without entering 
into a theoretical consideration of the causes which 
have produced them, for which space cannot be affor- 
ded, we are precluded from discussing the probability 
of these views. We think, however, that Professor 


Nicol has sufficiently shown that these terraces are 
not likely to be beach-marks, although the former 
submergence of the hills is inferred from other cir- 
cumstances, while there are several appearances in- 
consistent with the idea of glacial action.* 

Besides the simple minerals entering into the com- 
position of the various rocks, this district cannot bo 
said to yield any considerable number. Even the 
rocks which pass under the same name as those of 
the secondary or central district of Scotland, such 
as greenstone, are comparatively poor in simple 
minerals. If the Cheviot porphyries were more care- 
fully examined, perhaps an addition might be made 
to the number known. Gypsum, both the red and 
white varieties, is found in considerable masses near 
Kelso ; the red in nodules or concretions, the white 
in the form of veins. Metalliferous deposits are like- 
wise few in number, and apparently of very limited 

The spherical concretions which, from their curious 
shapes and the mystery attending their formation, 
are popularly known as fairy-stones, are found in 
various places, particularly at Elvvan water, north 
from Melrose, Howden burn, near Jedburgh, &c. 
They are usually flattened spheres, of a fawn colour, 
and composed of very fine clay disposed in thin hori- 
zontal layers. Sometimes two of these are joined 
together by a stalk, when they exactly resemble 

* < Observations on the Li.test Geological Changes in the South of 
S«otIand, by Wm. Kemp, Galashiels, 1844.' 


dumb-bells, or a particular kind of double-headed 
shot ; at other times a similar pair lies across these, 
forming a very beautiful figure. Others are kidney- 
shaped, and some elongated and irregular, with pro- 
jections, like incipient spheres, arising from their sides. 
They are somewhat soft, and effervesce freely with 
acids. Among the various theories which have been 
devised to account for their mode of formation, the 
most probable is that they are concretions formed by 
chemical action in the clay. 

The different formations found in the county are 
thus seen, even from the brief description given of 
them, to be of much interest both in a scientific point 
of view, and in their connection with economical 
purposes. Most of them are well calculated to yield 
a soil excellently adapted for agriculture ; and some 
of them bear a rich natural herbage, which has given 
the county a celebrity as a sheep-rearing district sur- 
passed by few others. Great results, in both the 
great departments of husbandry, have been already 
realised ; and under the judicious improvements now 
actively carrying on, still greater may be anticipated. 
Many of the geological phenomena above referred to 
are of great interest and importance, calculated to 
throw light on some obscure points in the history of 
the earth, and to illustrate the wonderful changes it 
has undergone in its progress to the state in which 
we now behold it. 




^^.nder this head, the people who first inhabited 
l w this district, and their speech, naturally form the 
first subject for consideration. 

While there is not any evidence existing to enable 
us to say at what period the first wave of population 
set in from Asia — the cradle of the human race on the 
western world — there are good grounds for believing 
that the tide flowed to this island in the early ages 
of the post-deluvian world, while only one race of 
men existed in Europe. At the dawn of record the 
whole extent of Europe was covered by a people 
called Celts, supposed to have been the descendants 
of a portion of those tribes who had been driven" out 
of their possessions in Palestine during the wars of 
Moses and Joshua, and who emigrated into Europe 
by the shores of the Mediterranean, the lands-end of 
Africa, and the straits of Gibraltar. These people, 
notwithstanding their number and extent of territory, 
founded no empire, but continued to live separately 
in clans or tribes. They acknowledged no sove- 
reign, and seldom acted in concert even in times of 
imminent danger. But they were brave and patrio- 


tic. It was this people who, five hundred years be- 
fore Christ, seized the country on the Po. It was 
the same race of men who burst like a thunder storm 
upon the sunny plains of Italy, and deluged the streets 
of Rome with the blood of its citizens. Though the 
genius of Oamillus triumphed the invaders returned, 
and it required all the valour and skill of the well- 
disciplined legions to turn back the foe. They over- 
ran Thrace, destroyed the temples of Greece, and 
trampled the gods under their feet. The Celt cared 
not for the gods of Greece or Rome. 

Britain was undoubtedly peopled from adjacent 
Gaul with the Celtic people; and Ireland, it is believ- 
ed, was colonized by the same race from Britain. The 
testimony of the Roman historians is in favour of this 
conclusion. The Romans were intimately acquainted 
with the Gaulic tribes. They had fought hand to 
hand with them in the streets of Rome, and at the 
very time the ambitious Csesar turned his eyes to the 
snow-white cliffs of Albion, a war was waging between 
him and the Gauls. The Romans believed that the 
inhabitants of Britain were of the Celtic race. The 
Britons and Gauls resembled each other in appear- 
ance, and their manners and customs were similar. 
Both lived separately in clans or tribes ; spoke the 
same language ; used the same rites of religion and 
sepulture ; were clothed in the same manner ; in war 
their weapons were alike ; both tended their flocks or 
followed the chase as a means of subsistence ; and the 
mountains, hills, rivers, and streams of both lands 
bore the same appellations. 


At the period of the Roman invasion there were 
only one race of people within the shores of Great 
Britain and Ireland, and, with the exception of the 
Romans themselves, it is believed that not another 
race set foot on the land till the Saxon era. Had 
another race of men inhabited the island, they would 
have left some traces of their existence, but none are 
to be found : there are no foot-prints in the sand. 
Throughout the island the remains are of the same 
kind ; the cromlech ; the circle of stones ; the stones 
of memorial ; the rocking stones and the tumuli. The 
strengths or hillforts abound every where in Britain, 
and are not only of the same construction, but occupy 
the same positions in the territories of the different 
tribes. All the natural objects of any importance 
bear a British or Gaelic name, and are common 
to Great Britain and Ireland. In our own district 
the names of the rivers and streams, with scarcely an 
exception, have been imposed by the first settlers ; 
and rivers possessed of the same characters, are to be 
found in various parts of Britain, distinguished by 
the same appellations. For example : the Allan is to 
be found in Flintshire, Dorsetshire, Cornwall, and 
Perthshire ; the Aln or Ale is also in Berwickshire, 
Northumberland, and in Warwickshire ; there is an 
Eden in Fife ; another river of that name falls into 
the Solway in Cumberland, and there is also a gentle 
gliding stream of that name in Kent : the EsJc is to 
be found in Forfarshire, in the shire of Edinburgh, 
in Dumfries-shire, in Yorkshire, and in Cumberland ; 
there is a Gad or Jed in Hertfordshire, and a Gadie 


in the shire of Aberdeen ; Leader, in Caernarvon- 
shire ; the name of Lid is to be found in Cornwall, 
and in Devon ; in Yorkshire there is a stream bear- 
ing the name of Ouse; the name of Teviot maybe 
seen in the shire of Cardigan, and in Devonshire, and 
the same word is to be found in Glamorganshire, and 
in Pembrokeshire; the Tweed is the name of a river 
in Cheshire ; the Yarrow is a river of Lancashire, 
and the Yair of Selkirk is represented in Norfolk and 
Devon. In like manner the names of the mountains, 
hills, and valleys of the district are to be found over 
the whole extent of Britain, and also in Ireland. The 
word Cone, which is found in several parts of this 
district, is also to be seen describing various localities 
in Suffolk and Cornwall, HeugJi is applied to a 
height in various places in Scotland, and is a common 
word in Cornwall, as descriptive of high parts or high 
peninsulas ; Pen appears in a number of places in 
this district, as describing a head or high cape or 
ridge ; and it is also applied in the same way in 
Cornwall and Wales ; Robar is also to be found ap- 
plied to a strength or to a strong law or high hill, as 
it is in Ruberslaui. The word Ross, which is common 
in the district, is to be seen in the maps of Hereford, 
and in Northumberland ; Caer, as a fort or strength, 
and the same word is used to describe a left-handed 
person — Cair or Gear handed : tradition relates that 
the race of border Kers or Cars were all left-handed. 
The word Calm, a heap; Cor He, a winding glen; Corse, 
a flat fenny ground; Dal, a flat field or meadow ; 
Eccles, a church ; Cel, a holy place ; Cnol, a knowe or 


hillock ; Cevyn, a ridge of hills — Cheviot : Down, a 
hill, a law ; Downlaw, near Penielheugh. ; Craig, a 
congeries of rocks ; Rhoss, a meadow ; strath is found 
in every part of the kingdom ; Glen abounds every 
where ; Bog, a marsh, is to be seen in every map ; 
Brae, a rising ground ; Poll, a muddy rivulet ; Pol- 
viorth in Berwickshire, and which supplies a title to 
the house of Scott, signifies the dwelling at the 
muddy stream ; Lead is to be found as a word in 
every locality ; Pit applied to a hollow place ; Bon or 
Boon, the foot or termination; Pis, a spout; Cist, kist 
or chest, an enclosure, a coffin ; Carle, a boor; Lyn, is 
also used to describe a pool in a stream; Park or 
pare, an inclosure ; Pil, a peel, a stronghold, and Tre 
is found in the names of places. A great number of 
the towns and hamlets still retain their British ap- 
pellations ; Jedburgh, the Gedworth of former times ; 
Kelso, from Calchoiv ; Ancrum, is derived from Aln 
crum; Melrose, from Maolross; Myntau; Rutherfurd, 
the ford at the redland heights ; Linton ; Bowden, 
from Botheldun ; Speys, law ; Cearfrau, fort on the 
stream ; Gor-din, fortified hill, with rim or border, 
&c. ; ClacJcmae, from Clackmaon ; mossy, stony 
ground. A great amount of the words used in the 
common speech of the district is derived from the 
British, and the same words are to be found in every 
quarter of the kingdom. The word Aries or Erles, is 
earnest money; Cane, a tribute, is yet to be found in 
many of the leases of the present day ; Grim, war, 
battle, strength ; Grimslaw at Eckford, the strong 
law, a hill ; Bung, a bunghole : Brisket, the breast of a 


slain beast ; deck ; Cowl ; Cach, dung ; Cummer, a 
grandmother : Cawk or Chalk ; Claver, from Cleber ; 
Dam, to mend or piece ; Dad, a father ; Gridle or 
girdle, from the British gredall ; Gus, a sow ; Hea- 
ther, from the British Eithair ; Hem, a border seam ; 
Hut, hoot; Knoc, a rap ; Knell, the stroke of the bell, 
British Cnul; Mammy, from the British mam ; marl; 
Pez, British peys ; Paw, spelled exactly as in British, 
Cornish, and Armoric; Ruth, British Rhwth, Cornish, 
Ruth, meaning plenty ; Saim, lard from the British 
saim ; Withy, & twig, British, wydd, wyth, withen. 
A great number of law terms are also derived from 
the same noble and expressive language ; Burlaw or 
Byrlaw, shorthanded, speedy justice, is still to be 
found exercised by the Byrlawmen ; Cane, as stated 
before, is tribute ; Cro* is blood-money ; Maiym, to 

* When a person was mulated for any offence it was called Cro ; 
and which was paid over and above satisfaction to the injured party 
and his friends. Each offence had its cro, and the king himself had 
his. The Regiam Magistatem has a chapter headed " The cro of 
ilk man how meikle it is.'' The cro of the king of Scots, says a MS. 
of the age of Edward I., is a thousand cows, or three thousand oras, 
that is to say three oras for each cow. An ora was a piece of gold, 
or an image of gold. The practice was continued down to a late pe- 
riod, and it may be as well to refer here more particularly to the in- 
teresting subject. According to the Regiam Magistatem, The cro 
of an earl was seven times twenty kie, or for ilk cow three pieces of 
gold called ora. The cro of an earles son or ane thane is ane 
hundred kie. The cro of the son of a thane is three score and six 
kie. Item all quha are inferior in parentage, (ane husbandman or 
yeoman ;) and the cro of ane husbandman is saxteen kye. The cro 
of ane married woman is less by the third part than the cro of her 
husband. Item, if she has no husband, then her cro is as great as 
the cro of her brother gif she ane has. The cro of ilk man are like 


hurt, or tear ; Maer or Maor, an officer, a provost 
or mayor, anciently a baron ; Merchet, a duty paid 
by the vassal on the marriage of a daughter. 

It is evident, therefore, that the people who inha- 
bited the country in early times, that is to say., pre- 
vious to, and at the Roman invasion were of one race. 
The British, Caledonians, Picts and Scots, were not, 
as imagined by many, a different people. The Cale- 
donians were merely a portion of the British people, 
who, during the Roman period, inhabited the lands 
north of the Forth and Clyde, and derived their name 
from the woody country in which they lived. The 
Picts were of the same race, and obtained their ap- 
pellation from the open country which they occupied, 
and from being always ready to go out to war. 
The Scots were emigrants from Ireland, who gave 
their name at one period to the whole of that king- 
dom. Beyond doubt they were all one and the same 
race, appearing under different names, and those 
names descriptive of the locality which each respec- 

in respect of their wifes. The blude shed out of the head of an earle 
is nine kie. The blude out of the son of an earl, or of ane thane, is 
six kie. Item, the son of a thane three kie. The nephoy of ane thane 
two kie and ane half of a cow. The blude of ane husbandman drawn 
tinder his breath is less be the third pairt than all the pains foresaid. 
In all persons foresaid blude drawn under the end or mouth is three 
pairt less than drawn above the end. For the life of ane man, nine 
times twenty kie. For ane fute ane marke. For ane tuthe 12 
pennies. For ane strake under the eare 16 pennies. For ane strake 
with the foot 40 pennies. In the Sth of King John, William de 
Brasco was charged in the Exchequer with 10 bulls and ten cows, 
for declining to go to Scotland and conduct the Scottish king to 


tively inhabited. According to several of the Roman 
historians, the inhabitants of Britain at the time the 
legions landed on the soil, lived in a state of barba- 
rism. Caesar says, that they were little raised above 
the state of rude savages. Dion, that the country 
was very savage, the cities void of walls, the people 
living naked in tents without shoes on their feet ; 
their wives common, and the children brought up by 
the community ; they were a people ready to steal, 
and that they lived by hunting and prey, and often- 
times on the fruit of their trees. Herodian speaks 
to the same effect, and adds that they were nearly 
naked, and painted their bodies in an extraordinary 
manner. Tacitus, although extolling the courage of 
the Britons, also treats them as barbarians. But 
the accurate Strabo, while agreeing with others as 
to the low state of civilization, in which the British 
inhabitants were at the period of the Roman invasion, 
does not confirm the practice attributed to them of 
having wives in common, and different individuals 
residing in the same hut with their women and chil- 
dren. We are inclined to think that these accounts 
are not entitled to full credit, inasmuch as they ap- 
pear inconsistent with other statements made by the 
same authors in regard to the Britons. Caesar, while 
writing of the manners of the Gauls and Germans, 
states that there were only two orders of men held in 
honor and esteem, with whom all authority and 
distinction were lodged. These were the Druids and 
Nobles. The Druids presided in matters of reli- 
gion, had the care of public and private sacrifices, 


and interpreted the will of the gods. They had 
the direction and education of youth, by whom 
they were held in great honour. The decision of 
all controversies were left to them. If any crime 
was committed ; any murder perpetrated ; any dis- 
putes touching inheritance, or the limits of any terri- 
tory ; in all such cases they were the supreme judges. 
They decreed rewards and punishments, and if any 
one refused to submit to their sentence, whether 
magistrate or private man, they interdicted him 
from the sacrifices. The Druids were all under one 
chief who possessed supreme authority in the body. 
At his death, he who excelled the rest succeeded. 
Once a year they assembled at a consecrated place in 
the middle of the country, where such as had suits 
depending, flocked from all parts and submitted im- 
plicitly to the judgments pronounced by them. The 
Druids taught many things relating to the stars and 
their motions ; the magnitude of the world and the 
earth ; the nature of things, and the power and pre- 
rogatives of the gods. Csesar adds, that the institu- 
tion was supposed to have been derived originally 
from Britain ; and, at the time he wrote his account, 
he says it was the practice of those who were desirous 
of perfecting themselves in knowledge, to travel thither 
for instruction. It seems to us that a people, pre- 
sided over by such a body of learned men, could not 
be so degraded in their manners as is asserted by 
many of the lloman authors. In addition to Britain 
being at the time a nursery from whence the Gauls 
drew their learned men, the accounts we have of the 


manner in which the country was defended against 
the Romans, supports the view that the people were 
far removed from a savage condition. The attempt 
of Csesar to gain a footing on the island was skilfully- 
opposed ; and, had union guided the councils of the 
tribes, the eagle might have been humbled. Carac- 
tacus opposed the pro-prsetor Ostorius with consum- 
mate skill and ability. According to Tacitus* he 
chose a spot where the approach and retreat were 
difficult to the enemy, and to himself every way ad- 
vantageous. He took post in a situation defended 
by steep and craggy hills. In some places where 
the mountains opened, and the declivity afforded an 
easy ascent, he fortified the spot with massy stones, 
heaped together in the form of a rampart. A 
river with fords and shallows washed the extremity 
of the plain. On the outside of his fortifications a 
vast body of troops showed themselves in force, and 
in order of battle. Previous to the conflict which fol- 
lowed, the chieftains rushed along the ranks exhorting 
the men, rousing the timid, confirming the brave, 
and by hopes and promises, by every generous mo- 
tive, inflaming the ardour of their troops. Caracta- 
cus reminded them that the fate of Britain would be 
decided by the result of the battle. " The era of 
liberty or dismal bondage begins from this hour. 
Remember your brave and warlike ancestors, who 
met Julius Caesar in open combat, and chased him 
from the shores of Britain. They were the men who 

• Annals of Tacitus, Book xii., Sec. xxxiv., et seq. 


freed their country from a foreign yoke; who delivered 
the land from taxations imposed at the will of a mas- 
ter; who banished from your sight the fasces and 
Roman axes ; and above all, who rescued your wives 
and daughters from violation." For a time the Bri- 
tons had the advantage, but from having neither 
breastplates nor helmets, could not continue the hand 
to hand conflict with the well armed soldiers of Rome. 
Ostorius gained a decisive victory, and the wife and 
daughter of Caractacus were taken prisoners, and he 
himself delivered up to the Roman conquerors by the 
treachery of the Queen of the Brigantes. The re- 
joicings with which the defeat of Caractacus was 
received at Rome proclaimed no ordinary event ; and 
when the emperor assembled the people, it was not to 
behold the leader of savage tribes, but a gallant 
prince, descended from an illustrious line of ancestors, 
whose fame had spread all over Italy, and who, for 
nine years had held at bay the whole forces of the 
Roman empire. The history of this prince affords 
abundant materials for estimating the credit due to 
these historians, who describe the ancient Briton as 
living in a state of savage barbarism. Besides, it is 
a well ascertained fact that, before the Roman period, 
the land was cultivated, and bore crops of corn. 
AVhen Caesar landed on the shores of Britain he found 
plenty of corn ; and it is related that he sent reapers 
every day to the fields and stored his camp with grain; 
and it was, while engaged in reaping, that the Britons 
made an attack upon the seventh legion.* Tacitus 

• Hook, vol. iii., book ix., cluip. ix., p. 627. 


remarks, that though the soil did not afford either 
the vine, the olive, or the fruits of warmer climates, 
yet it was fertile, and yielded corn in great plenty.* 
It is thought that the places in this district, called 
" Cavers? were British farms for growing corn. Then, 
if we take into consideration the commerce carried on 
with other nations in gold, tin, and in pearls, we 
can hardly doubt that our forefathers, at the Roman 
invasion, were raised far above the savage state. 

At the time the Romans arrived in this country, 
five tribes or clans of the British people possessed the 
land lying between Adrian's wallf* and the Friths 
of Forth and Clyde. These tribes were called the 
Ottadini, Gadeni or Cadeni, Selgovw, Novantes, and 
Damnii. With the exception of the early chorogra- 
pher, Ptolemy, all writers on the subject are nearly 
agreed as to the territory occupied by these five 
clans ; but there is considerable diversity as to the 
exact land belonging to each tribe. Ptolemyj 

• Life of Agricola, sec. xii. 

t About 120, a wall, or rather an embankment was formed by 
Adrian, of materials thrown from its ditch, running from the Solway, 
byway of Carlisle, to the Tine at Newcastle, with the view of pro- 
tecting the provinces on the south from the incursions of the war- 
like tribes of the Ottadini, Gadeni, Selgovae, and Novantes, who 
could not be kept in check by the stations and forts posted to the north 
after the death of Agricola. When Severus arrived in Britain in 
208, this wall having become ruinous from neglect, he built a strong 
wall on the same site in the autumn of that year, with the view, it is 
said, of protecting his retreat in case of accident before he marched 
northwards, and which formed an enduring monument of his own 
skill, and of the Roman power. 

I Map of Ptolemy. 


places the Ottadini as the possessors of the whole 
land lying along the east coast from the river Vedra 
to beyond the Frith of Forth, with the Bremeniura 
near the centre of the land between the Tine and 
Forth. The Gadeni he seats on a slip of land to the 
west of the Ottadini, and between them and the 
Selgovse, with a western boundary running from 
where the Sol way enters the Irish sea, to near the 
source of the Clyde ; and the eastern boundary from 
the head of the Solway Frith, northward along the 
range of mountains to near the Forth. The Selgovse 
and Novantes he places between the Clyde and the 
Irish sea ; and the greater portion of the Damnii 
possessions he makes to lie to the north of the Frith 
of Clyde. Richard the Monk,* who compiled from 
better materials, gives the whole land, between the 
wall of Adrian and the Frith of Forth, to the two 
tribes of Gadeni and Ottadini, with a western boun- 
dary running from near the head of the Solway, 
northward along the mountain range to near the head 
of the Frith of Forth. The Salgovse and Novantes he 
places between the high mountain range which sepa- 
rates Gal way from Carrick on the north, and Solway 
and the Irish sea on the south. The Damnii to the 
north of the above mountains, and extending to the 

* Richard, called of Cirencester, a monk of Westminster, prepared 
a MSS. history and map of Britain in 1338, which was discovered 
in Denmark, and published at Copenhagen in 1557. Doctor Stukely 
published a commentary on this work. Both the maps of Ptolemy 
and Richard are given in Roy's Military Antiquities of the Romans 
in Britain, Plates ii. and iii. 


river Ern. Camden does not carry the Ottadini far- 
ther north than the Tweed, and places the Gadeni in 
the country lying between the mouth of the Tweed 
and the Forth, comprehending Teviotdale, Tweedale, 
March, and Lothian.* The Gadeni, he thinks, de- 
rived their name from Ladoni, the G by a careless 
scribe being used instead of the letter L. But this 
theory of the -learned Camden will not bear the test 
of examination. It was not till the ninth century 
that the district between the Forth and Tweed was 
called by the name of Lothian or Lodine. The name 
is derived from the Saxon, and is intended to de- 
scribe a territory with a peculiar jurisdiction on the 
marches. It was previously known as Baxonia, 
earlier still as Bernicia, and originally as the land 
of the Ottadini. The district or province of Lo- 
thian comprehended the whole country lying between 
the Tweed and the Forth, which had been wrest- 
ed from the Romanized Ottadini and Gadeni by the 
Saxon people who entered the land by the Forth 
about 446. This territory was held by that people 
during ages of conflict and deadly strife. Chal- 
mers in his Caledonia-)* adopts nearly the views 
of Richard, and gives to the Ottadini the eastern 
half of Northumberland, the east part of Roxburgh- 
shire, the whole of Berwick and East Lothian, with 
their chief town at Rochester in Northumberland. 
The name of Ottadini he derives from the figure of 

* Camden's Britannia, vol. ii., p. 198, et seq. 
f Caledonia, vol, i. ; page 439, et seq. 


their country, stretching out from the Tine north- 
ward along the German ocean, and the Frith of 
Forth ; odd or oth signifying what stands out from, 
and Oddytin, the region tending out from Tine. The 
Gadeni he makes to inhabit the interior of the 
country on the west of the Otladini, from the Tine 
on the south, to the Forth on the north, comprehend- 
ing the west part of Northumberland, the south part 
of Cumberland, lying on the north of the Irthing 
river ; the west part of Roxburghshire ; all Selkirk- 
shire, Tweedale, much of Mid-Lothian, and nearly all 
West Lothian, with the capital town supposed to be 
on the Gore water. Notwithstanding, however, the 
confidence with which these views are stated by Mr 
Chalmers, we are inclined to think that he has com- 
mitted several errors in laying down the boundaries 
of the two tribes. One obvious error which he com- 
mits, is in assigning the fortress of Roxburgh to the 
Gadeni people, while he makes the line of march to 
run several miles to the westward.* A second mis- 
take consists in his making the boundary line of the 
tribes to the west of the Jed river, while it is beyond 
doubt that the river is named after the country 
through which it runs, and from the people who 
possessed the land on each side of it. Another dif- 
ficulty is, that while he and others who adopt the 
like views, make the chief town of the Ottadini at 
Rochester, the Bremenium of the Romans, altars 
erected to the tutelar deity of the 'Gadeni people 

* Caledonia, vol. 11, page 67. 


have been found at Risingham, the Habitancum 
of the Romans, as far to the east and farther south 
than Rochester. Camden states,* that in 1607 
two stone altars were washed out of the bank 
by the Reed river, one of which was inscribed, "Deo 
Mogonti Cadenorum et nomini, Domini nostrii Augusti, 
M. 6r., secundinus beneficiarius consulis, Habitanci 
primas tarn fro se et suis possuit" and the other, 
" Deo Mouno Cadenorum inventus do V. S." We 
think it clear that the altars are dedicated to the deity 
of the Gadeni or Oadeni people, and a doubt is there- 
by thrown upon Rochester being the chief town of 
the Ottadini. If Risingham was the property of the 
Gadeni, as the discovery of these altars would lead 
us to suppose, it is improbable that Rochester was a 
town of the Ottadini. The Tweed river, Mr Chalmers 
says, is the Tueda of Richard, and the British Tued 
the boundary of a country, or a dividing river. 
Ptolemy does not lay down the Tweed or Tueda in his 
map, and he evidently had not information of its 
existence, otherwise a river of such importance would 
have appeared. But considering the period in which 
he lived, such an omission is not a matter to cause 
wonder. It is not easily seen how the Tweed, as a 
boundary river, could apply if the Ottadini territory 
is made to run from the Tine along the sea coast to 
the Forth. But suppose the boundary line to have 
run east and west, the one tribe possessing the land 
between the Tweed and the Forth, and the other the 

* Camden'3 Britannia, vol. 11, page 203. 


whole of the territory lying between the Tweed and 
the wall of Adrian or Severn*, then the Tueda would 
become the boundary or dividing river between the 
two powerful tribes, and its name descriptive of its 
position and its use. It may be that the name only 
applied to the state of matters after the Saxons gain- 
ed that fine territory lying between the Tweed and 
Forth. But be this as it may, it is obvious that there 
exists no data to fix the exact boundary line of the 
two tribes. The only reasonable view seems to be, 
that supposing both territories to have stretched 
north and south, the Watling-street or Roman 
way is near to the confines of the two warlike tribes 
that occupied the country. It may be inferred that 
the Romans would so run the road, and place its forts 
as to control the actions of both tribes; besides the 
principal strengths of both clans would be placed on 
the march to watch and check each other. While 
the principal road was thus driven between the two 
tribes, another passed through the Ottadini country 
on the east, and the Gadeni people were kept in 
check by the road and forts on the west, and by the 
continuation of the Maidenway into Teviotdale. On 
taking every thing into consideration, and well weigh- 
ing all the circumstances, we think we are correct in 
placing the boundary line near to the Middle way of 
the Romans. It is evident that the line drawn by 
Chalmers cannot in any view apply. 

Druidism was the prevailing religion of all the 
European Celts. Druid is thought by many to be 
derived from dritshism, interpreters and inquirers; of 


drusJi, consultcrs, and la drus7i, to seek.* When the 
Druids came to Britain they introduced into the colony 
the whole mystery of the eastern worship ; the ritual 
of fire, stones, oaks, groves, and serpents, so often 
referred to and denounced in the Bible. It is said 
by several authorities, and amongst others Chalmers, 
that the worship was at first pure ; but in progress 
of time the people came to worship God through the 
medium of the sun, and ultimately that luminary in- 
stead of God. But such a view does not appear ap- 
plicable to Britain. The worship was introduced by 
the very Magi who practised it in the land from 
which they had been cast out on account of such 
practices, and it could not, therefore, ever have been 
pure in this country. It was widely practised in the 
days of Moses ; indeed, so prevalent was it, that the 
favoured people required repeated chastisements to 
keep them from such idolatry. The same worship is 
also referred to by Job in that surpassing poem illus- 
trative of his patience, and God's pity and mercy. 
" If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon 
walking in brightness, and my heart had been secretly 
enticed, or my mouth had kissed my hand ; this also 
were an iniquity to be punished by the Judge, for I 
should have denied the God that is above."-]- From 
all that can be gathered, the worship of the ancient 
Briton very much resembled the Persian. Like the 

* Deut. xviii. 11,-2 Chron. xv. 12. The appellation Druid, it is 
thought, cannot be derived from the Greek. The Celtic is older 
than the classic Greek. Williamson's Etymology. 

t Job, chap, xxxi. 26-28. 


Persians, they worshipped the sun and the elemental 
fire ; and also, like them, they seem to have had an 
aversion to many gods. At first the people worshipped 
in the open air and on the mountain tops. In the 
progress of time the altar was placed in the middle 
of a circle of stones, uniformly set up in a grove of 
oaks. From these sacred groves arose the word eel 
or cil, descriptive of a holy retreat, and which came 
to be applied by the early missionaries to a cell ; 
afterwards to a chapel and its accompanying cemetry. 
In this district of country there are comparatively 
few remains used in the primitive form of worship, 
while in the north they abound. This may be ac- 
counted for by the abolition of the Druid worship by 
the Romans. About the year 43, Claudius prohibited 
the system throughout the ample extent of Gaul, and 
as the Romans gained a footing in Britain the prac- 
tices of the Druids were also abolished. Rut in the 
northern parts of the island they continued to main- 
tain their influence, till the light of the Gospel pene- 
trated the darkest recesses of the land. It is natu- 
ral to suppose that the votaries of Druidism would 
fly before the victorious legions, and take shelter in 
the strongholds of the land inaccessible to the Roman 
arms. Over this district the Romans had full sway 
for more than 400 years, when they were compelled 
to abdicate and defend their own hearths and altars. 
Several of the mountains owe their names in part 
to the worship of Baal. On the Beaumont river 
there is a mountain in the immediate neighbourhood 
of Yetholm, bearing the appellation of the goddess 


of the Phoenicians, Astoroth, and the only corrup- 
tion in the name is that the A is not pronounced at 
the present day, while in the old charters it is written 
" //," but in both forms the sound is the same. Near 
to this hill and on the border line, formerly existed 
a circle of stones. A short way to the east of this 
is a mountain named after the god Baal, the 
Yevering Bel or Baal. In Jed water there is the 
Belling or Beltein, where the " teine" or fires of 
Baal were kindled ; and, in the table-land between 
Teviotdale and Liddesdale, is Needsl&w. In the dis- 
trict between the Gala and Leader is BellsoaArn, and 
in every district of the country traces of the name 
are to be found. It is highly probable, that during 
the early period of the existence of this system of wor- 
ship, every mountain top of the district was lighted 
up by the fires of Baal. Even at this day the people 
of this land, unthinkingly, follow in the footsteps 
of the worshippers of the sun. The first day of May 
was held as a festival to Baal; and each year on that 
day, the crests of the hills blazed with fires in honour 
of that god.* On the same day of every year do a 
number of our people still go to the hill tops to see the 
sun rise, and wash their faces with May dew, that 
they may be beautiful all the forthcoming year. In 
Ireland, and in some places of Scotland, it is believed 
that a feast is also held on that day. Little do 

* " But o'er the hills on festal day, 

How blazed Lord Ronald's baltane tree ; 

While youths and maids in light strathspey, 

So nimbly danc'd with Highland glee." — Glenfinlas. 


the maidens imagine, when they bathe their faces 
with May clew in such circumstances, that they are 
paying adoration to Baal, similar to that which was 
celebrated by the early people. The passing of cattle 
through the needfire or neatRre, to preserve them 
from disease, seems to be a part of the same system 
which was practised in this land not so very long 
ago. Needs-law may have been named from such a 
practice; and it is not improbable that children were 
also passed through the fire, as a preservative from the 
evils and dangers of the world. The denunciations 
in the Bible against parents passing their children 
through the fire to Moloch, were positively directed 
against the people looking to any other source than 
to the only true God for protection to their infant 
progeny. The kissing of the hand appears also to 
be a remnant of idol worship. The worshipper of 
the god stood before the altar, with his face turned 
towards the sun, and commenced worship by kissing 
his hand to that luminary. It was also deemed a 
mark of disrespect for any person to pass the statue 
of a god without putting his hand to his mouth. 

The most important remains which are supposed 
to belong to the druidical system to be found in this 
district, are situated in Liddesdale, in the middle of a 
moss between the parishes of Castleton and Canonby, 
and not far from Tinnis-hill. At that place is 
a cairn 258 feet long. At the north end are 
several large stones set on an edge so as to form a 
square, which are covered [over by a large stone. 
At the south end of the cairn, there is a stone seven 


feet perpendicular, and thirteen feet in circumference. 
Close to this stone four other stones form a circle, 
the diameter of which is about 135 feet. The cairn, 
cromlech, and circle, are all believed to be connected 
with the ritual of the Druids. 

A kindred remain is to be found in the vicinity of 
Hermitage castle, which has conferred a name on 
the place — Ninestonerigg.* A ridge or rig of land 
runs up from the water of Hermitage to the table- 
land which divides the district of the Liddel from 
Teviotdale. It is bounded on each side by the burns 
of the Roughlee and Sundhope, and on the east and 
west the mountains rise to a great elevation. In the 
middle of the rig is a circle of nine stones, about 
thirty yards in circumference, and in the centre is a 
square pit, between two and three feet deep, in which 
it is supposed the altar containing the sacred fire was 
placed. Two of these stones on the south side are 
still erect, and apparently entire, but the other seven 
are fallen on their side. On a careful examination of 

* This is the place where tradition will have it that one of the 
able, distinguished, and powerful family of Soulis was boiled in a pot 
or cauldron by the inhabitants of the district for cruelty and oppres- 
sion. It is said that the cauldron was suspended from an iron bar, which 
was supported by two of the circle stones. A large pot was long pre- 
served at Skelfhill, which tradition fixes as the one in which the gal- 
lant chief was boiled. It is now, it is believed, in the possession of 
George Pott, Esq., Knowsouth. The whole account of the manner 
of his lordship's death is thought to be fabulous. The inhabitants of 
Liddesdale of that day were, however, capable of any atrocity. In 
reference to the transaction Lej-den has written a beautiful ballad, 
entituled " Lord Soulis," published in an edition of his Scenes of 
Infancy and other Poems. Jedburgh, 1854. 


the ground we found that a great extent around the 
circle appeared to have been occupied, and to the 
south a number of the same kind of circles had exist- 
ed, but now entirely destroyed. The hollow in the 
centre of each circle is still to be seen, and the ap- 
pearance of the herbage, and the marks in the earth 
around, clearly indicate the situation of the upright 
stones. At the south end of the line of circles two 
large stones lie flat on the ground, which in every 
respect resemble the stones of the still remaining 
circle. So far as we are able to judge, the sacred 
place has comprehended several hundred yards of the 
flat of the rig. On Stobie's Map of Roxburghshire, 
the old road from the Liddel to Hawick is shown as 
running up the middle of the rig, through part of 
what was once the sacred retreat of the Druids, and 
to this circumstance we are probably indebted for the 
destruction of the stones. The locality is wild, even 
at this day, and must have been well adapted for the 
secret meetings of the A. agi in the palmy days of their 
power, and for the exercise of their ritual when pro- 
hibited by the strong arm of the Roman emperor. 
The existence of these circles may have induced the 
christian hermit to take up his abode in this desolate 
region for the conversion of the pagan inhabitants ; 
and it is probable that this very spot was selected by 
him, although tradition points to the banks of the 
water at the castle of Hermitage. But the hermit 
occupied his eel long before the foundations of the 
castle were laid, and, from what is known of the prac- 
tices of the early christian missionaries, the sacred 


grove of the Druid would be occupied in preference 
to any other place.* In subsequent times, and under 
very different circumstances, a chapel arose under the 
shelter of the castle walls, where the successors 
of the apostle laboured among the rude inhabitants 
of the district and the garrison of the fortress. 

Following the line of the mountains to the east, 
the next remains of the same kind, now observable, 
are near to Plenderleath, between the Oxnam and the 
Cayle. There is here, on a considerable height, a 
circle about 124 feet in circumference, in a good state 
of preservation. At a short distance from this place 
there appears to have been another circle, which, 
from the vestiges remaining, must have been of still 
greater extent. The stones which form these circles 
are greenstone, of which the mountain rock of that 
locality is composed. 

Farther to the eastward of the same mountain 
range, and near to Hownam Kirk, is a half circle, 
formed of eleven stones standing perpendicular. The 
inability of the primitive dwellers in that locality to 

* Walter de Bolhech granted to the Kelso monks and the brother 
of Merchileye and others, his successors, the Hermitage called 
Merchingleye, founded in the waste near Merchingburn, with the 
church of St. Mary to the same belonging, and pertinents, privileges, 
and easements. No. 264. This charter was confirmed by the son 
of the granter, with the assent of Hugh his brother. No. 265. 
The grant was also confirmed by the third Walter of Bolbech. 
No. 266, fol. 107. Hugh Baliol also granted to the same church of 
St. Mary, and Roger, the monk of Merc'dngleye, twenty-six acres of 
land, near Halychesters, which Eustachius, his lather, had given to 
the monk. The Monks were of the order of Kelso. — Kelso C/iartu~ 


account for the peculiar appearance of the stones, 
gave rise to a tradition, that the upright stones are 
human beings changed into the district porphyry for 
having reaped corn on the sabbath day. Accord- 
ingly, the stones bear the appellation of the eleven 
shearers. Between Hownam and the principal Cheviot, 
and at various places on the border line, there are a 
number of single stones standing solitary on the slopes 
of the mountains, and cairns on the summits of the 
hills, clearly indicating their original use. In the 
neighbourhood of Yetholm, and outside the border 
line, is a remain of the Druid system, consisting of a 
circle of five stones. On the north of Oayle water, on 
the farm of Frogden, are five upright stones. These, 
as well as others which formerly existed on the south 
bank of the stream, were commonly known as tryst 
stones, and tradition says, that these places were a 
rendezvous for the warriors of the district, where they 
met and planned an incursion into Northumberland, 
or consulted on the means of repelling a predatory 
band from the other side of the border. Near, to 
Mounteviot, on the north bank of the river, a Druid 
circle stood about sixty years ago, but now one soli- 
tary stone marks the spot whereon the worshippers 
assembled.* Near this place a christian temple suc- 
ceeded the pagan altar, but it also has ceased to be. 
Not long ago these remains abounded in every part 
of the district, but as cultivation advanced they were 
removed, to afford freer access to the plough, and now 

• This place was formerly called Spittalstanes, now Harestanes. 


are only to be found on the high ground, and in moors 
and mosses, inaccessable as yet to the spade or 

Before leaving this branch of the subject, it may be 
noticed that these Druid circles were erected solely by 
the ancient Britons and their pagan descendants, and 
it is thought before the Romans reached this district. 
When Agricola's legions washed their feet in Teviot's 
fair stream, the druidical system had been abolished, 
and Christianity shortly afterwards introduced under 
the influence and protection of the Roman arms. 
The Scots, who came from Ireland into Britain 
about the middle of the ninth century, were all chris- 
tians, and the Gothic tribes did not practice such 

While the druidical system existed jn this land, 
the dead were burned, and their ashes deposited in 
cairns, cistvaens, and urns. The tumuli appear either 
in conical heaps, or oblong ridges formed of earth or 
stone. The cistvaen signifies a stone chest or inclo- 
sure : the coffin or kist of the present day. The 
tumuli often contained stone chests without urns, and 
urns without any stone chests, but generally the ashes 
were placed in an urn and deposited in a stone chest. 
Rings, beads, and bracelets have been found in these 
tumuli. The cairns are sometimes of immense extent. 
In the north they are often to be met with 182 feet 
long, 30 in sloping height, and 45 in breadth at the 
bottom. In Liddesdale the cairn, in connection with 
the circle noticed in the previous pages, is above 258 
feet long, and formed of stones of great size. On the 


farm of Cleuch-head, in the same locality, a cairn was 
removed in the end of last century, and in it was 
found an urn containing ashes. In the same cairn were 
also found a great number of stones used for making 
barley, and a stone cross about four feet long.* In 
other cairns stone chests were found of a square form, 
in which were human ashes. On the farm of Lang- 
raw, near the Rule water, ashes and bones were dis- 
covered in a circular area of about 18 feet diameter.-f- 
On the east side of Ruberslaw, and also on the east 
bank of the Rule, near Fodderlie, cairns or tumuli 
formerly existed, which have been removed within the 
last fifty or sixty years. Numerous sepulchral stone 
tumuli were formerly to be seen near Southdean, but 
they have nearly all been carried away to assist in 
making roads, building dykes, and filling drains. J In 
the parish of Hownam there are several cairns or 
tumuli. In the localities of Hownam, Linton, and 
Morebattle, the tumuli abound, but are fast disap- 
pearing before the efforts of the agriculturist, to bring 
every acre of ground beneath the operations of the 
spade and plough. § In the churchyard of Yetholm, 

* Old Statistical Account of Castle ton. 

+ New Statistical Account of the Parish of Hobkirk. 

I Old Statistical Account of the Parish of Southdean. 

§ The Rev. James Brotherstone, the assistant to the minister of 
the parish of Linton, in his account of the parish, says, " From the 
surface of the ground arise numerous small tumuli, which, when ex- 
cavated, are found to contain human bones enclosed in circular 
earthen urns of various dimensions. In one place these tumuli are so 
numerous as almost to resemble a burying ground, or, at least, they 
render it probable that the ground which they occupy had been once 


about twenty years ago, was discovered a cistvaen 
of four rough stones, set at right angles, covered 
by a flat stone. At Primside Mill, was found an 
urn of rude workmanship, containing ashes.* On 
Wooden-hill, urns containing human bones and dust 
have been turned up, and on Oaverton Edge, tumuli 
containing fragments of human bones and black dust 
have been discovered. On the estate of Wooden, near 
Kelso, there are several sepulchral cairns, composed 
of stones intermixed with moss, and in the same lo- 
cality a number of stone coffins have been dug up. 
Near Ednam, a tumuli contained three stone chests, 
one of which enclosed an urn containing ashes. On 
the farm of Cambflat, tumuli of earth are to be seen. 
Near Eckford, tumuli have been opened, in which 
were found earthen jars containing bones and dust. 
One of these urns was three feet deep, and eigh- 
teen inches wide; another was smaller, and both, 
when exposed to the air, crumbled into pieces. In 
a field on the farm of Crailinghall, about 1832, 
a tumuli was opened by the workmen who were 
searching for stones to build a march dyke, and 
in it were found several urns containing human 
dust. About 1 815, a cistvaen was discovered in a gar- 

a battle field. Most of these bones, as well as the urns which contain 
them, when exposed to the air, dissolve into dust." From a brazen 
Roman spear being found in the locality, Mr Brotherstone supposes the 
tumuli and urns to contain the ashes of the Romans, but they are 
more likely to be the work of the children of the Ottadini, the origi- 
nal inhabitants of the country. 

* New Statistical Account of Yetholm, by the Rev. John Baird. 


den in Jedburgh, belonging to Mr Selkirk, cabinet- 
maker. It was four feet and a half long, thirty inches 
broad, and contained a large urn at one end, and 
three smaller ones at the other ; two of which moul- 
dered away on being handled, and the third is still in 
the possession of Mr Selkirk. Near Crailing, several 
sepulchral urns have been discovered, containing the 
ashes of the Ottadini dead. Many stone coffins have 
been found near Minto; and on the farm of Beaulie, 
on the Ale water, a burial place of a circular form 
was opened up, wherein was found a great number of 
human bones which had been partly burned. Several 
sepulchral urns have been found in the upper district 
of Hawick parish, and at a place called k< Auld Ca 
Know,'" when a cairn was removed about the begin- 
ning of the present century, a stone chest was got 
about seven feet below the surface, which enclos- 
ed the remains it is believed of the Gadeni children. 
But the most important remain in that district is a 
conical tumuli, popularly called the Moat^ rising to 
the height of nearly thirty feet. It measures about 
312 feet at the base, and 117 feet at the top, which 
is nearly flat. It is supposed by some to be a sepul- 
chral tumuli, and by others a Moat or Moothill, for 
the administration of justice in a rude age. It is 
probable that it may have served both purposes. The 
children of the Gadeni may have used it as a burial 
place for their dead, and their descendants after- 
wards converted it into a Moothill, or it may have 
been used from a very early period as a place for en- 
acting as well as administering laws. It was usual 


in the early times for a judge to sit in the open air 
on a turf, a heap of stones, or a hillock for a bench, 
while he listened to the complaints of the suitors, 
and decided according to the manners and customs 
of the people. While the principal person of the 
tribe or clan was supreme, justice was administered 
by a judge in whose family the office was hereditary, 
with this peculiarity, however, that it descended only 
to the son who was best skilled in his father's know- 
ledge. In this custom we may trace the origin of 
baron courts and heritable jurisdictions. The Moot- 
hill was also the place where the king who succeeded 
to the throne, swore to observe the laws of the coun- 
try ; and when new laws were made, it was the place 
where the king, bishops, and chiefs assembled, and took 
an oath to administer and obey the laws so enacted. 
In 910 we find Oonstantine III. appearing on the 
Moothill of Scone, with the bishop Oellah, and the 
Scottish chiefs, and swearing to maintain the laws, 
faith, and discipline of the church. There can be little 
doubt that in latter times the flat top of the Hawick 
" Moat," was used by the judge of the day for hear- 
ing the rude suitors of the district. 

Such, then, are the remains in this district of a 
system which seems to have passed over the greater 
portion of the earth.* 

* In India similar remains abound. Lieutenant Henry Yule, in 
a journey through the hill country lying to the east of Bengal, oc- 
cupied by a people called Kat>i, whose characteristic features are 
strongly Mongolian, found monumental stones on every wayside, re- 
calling to his remembrance the clustered monuments in Britain, and 


According to all accounts the British people were 
brave, and possessed of a warlike spirit. Their in- 

which are to be found in all parts of Europe and Western Asia. The 
most common kind in the Kasi country are composed of erect oblong 
pillars, sometimes nearly quite unhewn, in other instances carefully 
squared, planted in a line a few feet apart. The highest pillar is Id 
the middle, (sometimes crowned with a circular disc,) and to the 
risrht and left they gradually diminish. In front of these is a crom- 
lech, a large flat stone resting on short rough pillars, whicli form 
the ordinary resting places of the wayside travellers. A cluster of 
these pillars stand in the market-place of Nurting, and rise through 
the branches of a huge old tree to the height of twenty-seven feet. A 
cromlech at the village of Lailang-kot, elevated five feet from the 
earth, measures thirty-two feet by fifteen, and two feet thick at the 
edge. Near this village is a field covered with these upright monu- 
ments, as thickly as the churchjard of a populous European village. 
Kistvaens of four large .slabs, resting on their edges, and roofed by a 
fifth, plticed horizontally, are found in many places. In the valley of 
Mansmai, deep in the forest, is a great collection of large slabs, ac- 
curately circular, resting on the tops of many little rough pillars 
planted close together, through whose chinks may be discerned 
earthen pots or urns containing ashes of the family. Simple cairns of 
twenty feet are also to be seen. Mr Yule says, that the upright pillars 
are cenotaphs, and if the people are asked why their fathers erected 
them, the universal answer is, " To preserve their name." Yet to few, 
indeed, among the thousands, can they attach any name. Many of the 
villages derive their appellations from such erections, as may. be 
judged from the number commencing with the syllable Mao, which 
signifies a stone; i. e., Mao-sami, the stone of the oath, (fee. The 
oath-stone suggests that these pillars were erected in memory of not- 
able compact*. On asking an intelligent native the origin of the 
name, his answer was a striking illustration of many passages in the 
Old Testament. " There was war," said he, " between two of the 
villages, and when they made peace, and swore to it, they erected a 
stone for a witness ;" Genesis xxxi. 45-48. In Bell's Circassia is a 
drawing of an ancient monument existing in that country, which \* 
an exact representation of a thousand such in the Kasi hdls: and on 
the eastern bank of the Jordan, the same monuments are to be 




/& 2. Copper are.9Jv7j.nd a£ Seidfadetxrvlmv . 

3 . J Copper aif>,/h///7f/ a/ Dri/&icrak 

4 Spear Tiecul v/'zro7t, Sound <z£ Wcff&rfantJqfJ 
3 /rronxc A'/?//e 'j discovered //far So /■'/// s/es/ // . 
&. Jlxr (9/\?fci7t<°,/o?///f/rr/ ffi&riers, <m t/ed.;. 

f. Jlxe o/\s*fo/iey,fpf/7?s/ 07?. Howdenmoor, Jed£ura7t) \ 

8. Supposed kifc o/' 7i<r/7?s?/t sword, fviartzl TiearJfd'ialrufo. 

9. J7 drass cActzn , Ad/atd m Jed. forest' . 


fantry are said to have been speedy in the attack, and 
stood firm. The chiefs sometimes fought in chariots, 
drawn by small horses, with scythes fixed to the end 
of the axletree.* Each of these chariots contained, 
besides the charioteer, several warriors, who, in rush- 

found.— (lrby 8f Mangle's Syrian Travels.) Similar remains have 
also been found in the Dekkan by Captain Meadows Taylor, consist- 
ing of cromlechs, kistvaens, cairns, and barrows. The cromlechs are 
three large stones or slabs, set on edge, with a large covering slab, 
and one side— the south— is generally open. The slabs are about 
twelve feet broad, and half-a-foot thick. The kistvaens are closed 
on all four sides, and contain earthen vessels filled with earth, cal- 
cined human bones and ashes, mixed with charcoal. The cairns are 
circles of stones, double and single, surrounding small tumuli. When 
opened to a depth of eight or twelve feet, stone chests, composed of 
slabs and stones are found, containing skeletons, accompanied by re- 
mains of spear heads and other weapons of war. In others, larger ves- 
sels occur, containing human bones and ashes, with charcoal similar 
to the kistvaens, and no stone chests. The barrows are larger than 
the cairns, and consist usually of a group of several tumuli, or of one 
large one surrounded with others. The vessels in these cairns, <fec, 
are all of the same character, strong earthen ware, with bright red 
glaze ; some have black glazing also ; some are half red and half 
black. Dr Wise, of the Bengal medical service, examined monu- 
ments of the same class in other parts of British India. From papers 
read before the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1852. — There 
can be no doubt that the monuments found in the Kasi mountains, 
throughout British India, and on the banks of the Jordan, are exactly 
of the same kind as the remains which are found standing among the 
mountain ranges of our own district. They seem to have been erected 
under the same system, and for the same use, by the same race of 
people who spoke a kindred language. The "Mao" of India is the 
" Maon" of the Ottadini and Gadeni. 

* It is stated, that in several of the engagements between the Bri- 
tons and the Romans, the former brought into the field four thousand 



ing to the attack, clashed their arms and sang the 
exploits of their forefathers. The impetuosity with 
which they made the attack was almost irresistible. 
The women of the tribes fought with intrepidity, and, 
though not armed, rendered essential service to their 
friends, by grappling with and seizing the arms of 
their enemies. The weapons which they used in 
battle were swords, hatchets, bows and arrows, and 
long spears. These were formed of brass, of stone, 
and of flint. Poles, edged with flint, were common 
weapons; and little arrow heads have been found near 
the tumuli of the dead. For defence, they had a 
target made of wood, and occasionally one made of 
twigs, covered with leather, and studded with brass 
nails. War axes of brass and stone, and small flint 
heads of arrows, have been found in various parts of 
the district, several of which are represented in the 
accompanying plate. 

The next objects which attract attention are the 
Forts of the earliest people. As might be expected, 
these strengths are generally found occupying the 
tops of the highest hills. They are generally oval, 
sometimes circular ; but their shape is made to de- 
pend very much on the summit of the mountain, or 
the part where the strength is placed. The district 
is full of hill-forts, but it is not easy to determine, with 
certainty, the period of their erection. The original 
forts were frequently taken possession of by the Ro- 
mans, and their shape altered. The llomanized 
Gadeni and Ottadini, when they defended their land 
against the invasions of the Saxons and Caledonians, 


occupied these forts, and made them to assume an 
appearance different from what they were originally, 
and during their possession by the Roman legions. 
Next followed the wars between England and Scot- 
land, when every natural strength of the district was 
defended with great tenacity, and altered according to 
circumstances. From the earliest period this dis- 
trict has been a battle-field. It was the scene of the 
Ottadini and Gadeni conflicts. It was the spot on 
which these two tribes, and their auxiliaries, gallantly 
opposed the Roman legions. Every foot of it was 
contested with the Saxon invader. For centuries it 
formed the border line between England and Scot- 
land, the theatre on which the sons of either kingdom 
performed feats of valour unsurpassed in the history 
of the world. 

The best specimens in this district of the ancient 
British fort, are to be found in Liddesdale, on the 
summits of Caerby, and Tinnis-hi\L The former 
of these hills is situated on the eastward of the 
river Lid del, between it and the Kersope, which 
forms the boundary between the two kingdoms. 
The hill commands a very extensive view southwest, 
on both sides of the river, to the vale of Esk, and the 
extensive plains beyond. To the southeast, a dark 
flat region presents itself, unrelieved by any thing 
better than the solitary hut of the shepherd on the 
waste, and the wild alder which now and then appears 
on the sides of the mossy rills. Northward, it over- 
looks the valley of the Hermitage, and all the southern 
slope of the mountain range dividing Teviotdale and 


Liddesdalc : the Greatmoor, Leapsteel, Windburgh, 
Ernton, Fannahill, Needslaw, Carlentooth, and the 
Peelfell. Standing on the apex of this hill, the rapi- 
dity with which the war-signals were conveyed from 
one part of the kingdom to another becomes apparent. 
AV r hen the beacon fire was kindled on Caerby, to 
mark the approach of the foe on the Liddel, it would 
be responded to by the Leapsteel, and Needslaw 7 , 
the Dunion, and the heights of Home — thus warning 
in an incredibly short time all the men of Teviotdale, 
and the men from the Sol way to the German ocean. 
It would at the sametime convey intelligence to the 
westward ; and, if the signal was taken up by the 
Lammermoors and North Berwicklaw, the whole of 
Scotland, from the Forth to the borders, would be 
aroused as quickly, and with more certainty than by 
the telegraph of the present day. On the west, the view 
is limited) by the| high ridge which lies between the 
Ewes, Esk, and the Liddel. The fort on the top of 
the hill is oval, and is surrounded by a wall, or face 
dyke of drystone, of nearly o20 yards in circum- 
ference. Within this wall are the vestiges of eight 
oval-shaped huts, planted around a larger enclosure, 
in the centre of the fort. On the outside of the fort 
wall, is a considerable space of level ground, on which 
it is thought the warriors who were selected for the 
defence of the fort stood in battle array. It is obvi- 
ous that the battle could not take place within the 
wall which surrounded the houses, and where no 
doubt the women and children were placed for safety, 
while the braves of the tribes were doing battle on 


the outside of the wall. That this was the mode of 
defence is rendered beyond doubt, by the account 
Tacitus gives of the hill fort of Caractacus. The hill 
top was fortified with massy stones heaped together, 
and " on the outside of his fortifications, a vast body 
of troops showed themselves in force, and in order of 
battled Caerby answers exactly to the description 
of the fort where Caractacus met Ostorius, and from 
the wife and daughter of the British chief being 
taken prisoners at the battle, it may be safely conclud- 
ed, that they had taken refuge within the fortifica- 
tion. An engraving of this fort is given with the old 
Statistical Account of the parish, and from which 
Chalmers, in his Caledonia, considers to be similar to 
the forts of Barra and Caterthuns ; and, from the 
same authority, that learned antiquarian states, that 
a road had winded up the hill, and entered it on the 
south. But these are mistakes, as the fort is oval ; 
and what the minister of the parish took for a 
road winding round the fort, is the flat ground on 
the outside of the stone fence, where the native 
warriors met the foe. 

Another fort, of the same kind, and occupying a 
far stronger position, is on the top of Tinnis hill, which 
is situated on the west bank of the Liddel, on the 
farm of Whisgills. The hill is of a conical form, and 
rises to the height of about 1400 feet above the sea 
level. On every side it is nearly perpendicular, ex- 
cepting the south, where the shoulder of the moun- 
tain slopes down to a ridge which stretches away 
southwards to the Liddel. On the north it is en- 


circled by the river Tinnis, which flows over a rocky 
bed to the Liddel. Into the Tinnis a number of 
small streams flow from the high ridge on the north, 
forming", in their course over immense blocks, many 
beautiful cascades, whose united murmurs, on a 
calm day, far exceed in harmony the sounds of a 
many-stringed instrument. From the top of the 
mountain the view is extensive and delightful. The 
windings of the waters of the Solway appear glitter- 
ing like an inland lake, and in the distance the towers 
and spires of fair Carlisle are plainly discernible. 
The fort on the top of the hill is not so extensive as 
Caerby. It consists of a wall of drystone, of an oval 
form, and measures about two hundred-and-twenty 
yards in circumference. Within this wall is an inner 
oval, about twenty yards less. In the centre of the 
fort is a still smaller oval, in which a cairn is placed. 
Excepting the outer wall, there is little or no appear- 
ance of building within the fort. Round the centre 
of the fort, where the cairn is placed, there are large 
holes in the ground, indicating where stones had 
once been placed. From the outer wall the ground 
rises to an elevation of nearly ten feet. Between 
the wall and the brink of the hill is a flat space, 
nearly thirty yards broad, which has been made by 
throwing the earth within the oval. On the south, 
the fortifications had extended a considerable way 
down the shoulder of the hill, so as to occupy a strong 
position commanding the approach to the summit. 
The access to the fort has been from the south, and, 
indeed, it is the only direction that the hill can yet 


be ascended without climbing. On the south, north, 
and west, the sides of the hill are nearly perpendi- 
cular. It is remarkable that, though the steep sides 
of the hill are dry, and covered with fine grasses, the 
flat top is marshy, especially on the level space be- 
yond the outer wall. On every side of the mountain 
the ground is wet and marshy, and the top of the 
ridge between Newcastleton and Langholm is covered 
with peat or moss to the depth of several feet. There 
are scarcely any stones to be seen on the surface of 
the ground ; but wherever the water has removed the 
surface peat, or moss, large blocks of stone are ex- 
posed. On the side of the ridge which slopes down 
to the Liddel, the stones are composed of a kind of 
moorstone, while on the west they are freestone, and 
immense heaps of sand are also to be found, but ge- 
nerally covered with moss and heather. 

There are a number of forts of the same kind oc- 
cupying the summits of the smaller hills, and many 
others once existed, but have been destroyed by the 
occupants of the land. On the farm of Flight, situ- 
ated on the south bank of the Liddel, near to Clint- 
woodburn, there was a circular fort of about one hun- 
dred feet diameter, surrounded with a strong wall, 
but which was carried away in 1793, by the farmer, 
to build fauld dykes.* Two of these forts are to be 

* In the circular fort, at Flight, there was found the head of a 
weapon of fine brass, four-and-a-half inches long, the one end fitted 
to receive a shaft or handle ; the other widened, and formed, and 
sharpened like the ei\gv of a hatchet. Another article, which was 
found at the same place, had the appearance of a small sword, of 


found at Hudhouse, on the source of the Liddel, and 
another at Sorbietrees, near the Kersope water. When 
the stones were removed from the latter fort " there 
was discovered, on the south side of it, a place ten 
feet wide, twenty feet long, paved with flat stones, 
and enclosed by others on each side, set on edge, 
within which there seemed to be ashes and burnt 
sticks. 11 * Similar strengths exist on the Hermitage 
river, on the farms of Shaws, Toftholm, and Foul- 
shiels. There was one of the same kind on the Black- 
burn, and another on Cocklaw. The Dunion hill, 
near Jedburgh, exhibits the genius of the early people. 
On Penielheugh there are two forts defended by strong 
ramparts of stone, which owe their origin to the 
same early period. It is believed that the castle of 
Roxburgh was erected on the site of an Ottadini fort, 
and that the peninsula, formed by the Tweed and 
Teviot, was the theatre of deadly strife, long before 
England and Scotland found a place in the records 
of the day. On the top of Gattonside hill, to the 
north of the river Tweed, there was a British strength 
called the Closses, of an irregular figure, fortified by 
a stone rampart. It contained an area of about 4| 
acres, within which there were vestiges of buildings, 
and its surface covered with stones. On the summit 
of the hill near Earlston, on the Leader, is another 

mixed metal, about three feet long, but was unfortunately broken by 
the workmen." Mr Arkle's Account of the parish of Castleton, pub- 
lished in 1795. 

* Ibid, vol. xvi., p. 84. 


fort, the stones of which are supposed by some to 
bear marks of vitrification. 

These are the only forts or strengths which can, 
with any certainty, be stated to have existed at the 
time of the Roman invasion. The district is full of 
other strengths, formed by the same race of people, 
but at a different period. Previous to the Roman 
era, the strengths of the ancient Britons were formed 
of stones, without any ditch or earthen rampart, and 
were of an oval or circular shape. After the Romans 
left, the Romanized Britons imitated the square camp 
of their protectors, and used the fosse and rampart of 
earth. Of these the district of which we are treating 
abound in examples. All the fortifications on the south 
bank of the Tweed at Melrose, may be traced to a 
period subsequent to that of the Romans, when the 
descendants of the Ottadini and Gadeni were forced 
to defend themselves from the Saxon invader. It is 
very doubtful whether there existed any fort on the 
summit of the Eildon, previous to, or during the 
Roman period. It is not likely that the Romans, who 
marched upon this land from the south, would be 
seriously opposed on the south bank of the Tweed. 
The early people would rather dispute the passage of 
the river; and, accordingly we find unmistakable evi- 
dence of their forts on the heights of Gattonside com- 
manding the river, where it is well ascertained the 
Roman legions forded the stream. Neither is it the 
least probable that the summit of the Eildon was the 
site of a Roman camp, although Miln, who wrote in 
1743, imagined he saw the prsetorium, surrounded 


with ninny huts. The Romans would not occupy such 
a position from choice, and there existed no necessity 
that they should do so. Their camps never were 
placed in such situations. It is thought that the fort 
on the northeast hill, the one on Cauldshiels hill, 
that near Huntlywood, and the one on Kaeside — as 
well as those which Mr Kinghorn, who surveyed this 
part of the district for Mr Chalmers in 1 80S, thought 
he discovered, further south — were the work of the 
inhabitants, who resisted the Saxon encroachments on 
their territory. 

The fort on the Eildon has been defended by two 
fosses, and ramparts of earth above a mile and a half 
in circuit. Within a large flat space on the top are 
vestiges of huts, which would afford shelter to the 
defenders of the fort, and the inhabitants of the 
locality. The prwtorium which Mr Aliln discovered, 
may be seen in every British fort, and is believed to 
have been the place in which the chief, command- 
ing the warriors, who defended the fort, resided. 
The same appearances exist in the ancient fort at 
Caerby. There, a superior dwelling existed in the 
centre, around which the other smaller buildings 
are clustered. The fort at Cauldshiels is of an ob- 
long form, with rounded corners, about 200 yards 
long, from east to west, and 180 yards broad, sur- 
rounded by double ramparts of earth, and by ditches 
which encompassed the hill about fifty feet, the one 
entrenchment above the other. The fort, which exist- 
ed at Huntlywood, consisted of a double ditch and 
rampart, in an oval form. On the southwest of 


Bridgend there was another fort, defended by two 
fosses, about a mile and a half in circumference. 
Near Kippilawmains there existed another fort, and 
also, at Beauliehill and Rawflat. All these were of 
an oblong square form, with rounded corners, de- 
fended by ditches, and earthen ramparts. They 
must have been formed by a people who had seen a 
Roman camp, which they endeavoured to imitate. 

In the mountainous tract of country between Lid- 
desdale and the Teviot, there are the remains of 
similar strengths on the top of almost every hill. 
They all bear one character, occupying about an acre 
of ground, defended by ramparts of earth. Near 
Bedrule and Southdean, there are several forts on 
hi<rh ground ; and at Needslaw, near to where the 
Wheel-Causey passed, the same kind of strength is 
to be seen, and which probably may have existed 
earlier. In the eastern part of the district, the tops 
of the hills afford the same evidences of the deter- 
mination with which the land was defended. On the 
Cayle and Beaumont, there are many such strengths. 
Hownamlaw has been strongly fortified, and it is sus- 
pected by the Roman people, from its proximity to 
their military way, which passed it a little to the 
south. Ringleyhall. on the banks of the Tweed near 
Maxton, occupied a strong position on a high cliff 
overlooking the river. Its form and accompanying 
tumuli plainly declare its origin. On the summit of 
the hill opposite to Newstead, is a fort, defended by a 
ditch and earthen rampart, of about three-fourths of 
a mile in circumference. It is now nearly obliterated. 


Near to Drygrange several forts existed, and simi- 
lar strengths are to be found along the west bank of 
the Leader. 

A number of ditches, earthen ramparts, and ways 
are described by Miln, and also by Chalmers, from 
Mr Kinghorn's MS. survey, as existing in the vicinity 
of the Eildons, and attributed to the Romans and 
Tritons ; but it is difficult to form a correct idea in 
regard to these works, far less to fix the exact period 
of their formation. They were certainly not made 
in opposition to the Romans by the Britons, and 
their formation must be referred to a later period, 
when the fierce Gothic tribes passed the Tweed, 
and endeavoured to seize upon Teviotdale. If we 
are to take this era for the production of these 
works, then it is easy to read the intention of those 
who constructed them. One of these works appears 
to be of a character with the Catrail further west, 
and with the same object in view — to repel the Saxon 
intruder. At the end of last century it could be 
traced from Rink, near Galashiels, to Cauldshiels, 
across Bowden-moor, and Halydean Park, to Row- 
chester, near Kippilawmains, where there was an 
oblong square camp. From this place it ran south 
to another camp of the same kind, at Blackchester, 
on the north side of the Ale water. It then crossed 
the Ale to Beuliehill, and held on to Rawflat. In 
the same way it connected the strengths lying be- 
tween that place, and the fort on the banks of 
the Rule, Needslaw, and Peelfell. Cultivation has 
obliterated a great portion of this work ; but, so far 


as we can learn, it was about forty feet broad, 
and in some places extended to near fifty feet, with 
a ditch at each side from twelve to twenty feet 
wide. The earth thrown from the ditches formed a 
rampart on each side. No part of it appears to have 
been paved with stones, and, like the Catrail, it did 
not proceed in a straight direction, but bended round 
mosses, and accommodated its course to the ground 
over which it passed. The minister of Bowden, in 
the Old Account of the parish, refers to this way, and 
states that it was very distinct to the eye while it 
ran through the deer park at Halydean. Along its 
course various weapons of war have been turned up. 
The greatest work which the Britons constructed 
in the island, is the Catrail, which runs for about forty 
five miles in the counties of Selkirk and Roxburgh, 
from near Orosslee on the Gala, to the Peelfell, on the 
confines of Northumberland. It is curious that the 
Catrail forms as it were a kind of bow, of which the 
work we have already spoken to may be said to be 
the string. From the remains still existing, it appears 
to have been a vast ditch, about twenty-six feet wide, 
with a rampart on each side, ten feet high, and 
seven feet thick, formed from the materials thrown 
out of the excavation. The object of this ditch may 
be learned from its name : Cat signifying conflict or 
battle, and Bhail a fence : a war fence or partition. 
This gigantic undertaking was carried through by the 
Ottadini and Gadeni people after the Romans left, to 
protect themselves and possessions from the Saxons, 
who were advancing upon them from the north and 


east. It would also serve as a screen, under cover of 
which the tribes could pass from one place to another 
without being seen by the enemy. In the same way 
their flocks and herds might be conveyed without 
being observed. Before the Romans left this land, 
all the territory lying between the wall of Adrian on 
the south, and the wall of Antonine on the north, 
was erected into an independent kingdom, under the 
name of Valentia, and occupied by the five British 
tribes already mentioned, according to the boundaries 
described in the previous pages. On the south of 
Teviotdale the country was naturally strong from its 
mountainous character, but on the east it afforded 
easier access to an enemy. The ground was also 
difficult for the invader to pass through on the north 
of the Tweed, between the Leader and Gala, and the 
Lammermoor hills formed a barrier in that direction. 
But about 446 the Saxons landed between the Forth 
and Tweed, and gained a footing there, notwithstand- 
ing the gallant defence made by the two tribes to 
whom the land belonged. It was during the struggle 
which succeeded that these war fences were con- 
structed, and the immensity of the work proves the 
desperate nature of the struggle. The Catrail does 
not go straight, but like the work farther to the east, 
bends round any serious obstacle, or stops at a moss 
or naturally strong place, and resumes its way on the 
other side. It is our belief that it does not begin at 
Mosalee, as is generally supposed, but is connected 
with the ramparts and ditch which begin, one at Ber- 
wick, and the other at Dunbar. In 1803 Mr King- 


horn traced a high earthen rampart and large fosse 
running from near Channelkirk, northeast across the 
Leader water, and thence eastward through the 
Lammermoor hills to the neighbourhood of Dunbar. 
About 1760 the old laird of Spottiswoode informed 
Mr Chalmers that he had traced a similar rampart 
and ditch from a British strength at Haerfaulds, on 
a hill two miles west of Spottiswoode, throughout the 
country, to the vicinity of Berwick. It was then 
very discernible in many places, and was popularly 
known by the name of HerrioVs dyke. The minister 
of Greenlaw confirms the statement of the laird of 
Spottiswoode, and says that the ditch and mound 
ran across his parish for about a mile, and tra- 
dition asserted that it proceeded onwards to Ber- 
wick. Like the Catrail, it is along its whole line con- 
nected with British strengths. It was not necessary 
that the work should be carried from the head 
of the Leader to the Gala, near Crosslee, because 
the country between these two places formed, in its 
mountains, forests, and swamps, an impenetrable 
barrier. It is, no doubt, of greater extent between 
Gala and the borders of Northumberland ; but it 
must be recollected that the struggle had then be- 
come one for very existence with the Saxons of 
Northumberland, who had entered from the east, as 
well as those who had landed on the shores of the 
Forth. By that time also the other three tribes had 
joined in the strife in aid of the Ottadiniand Gadeni. 
The whole province was threatened, and called for great 
exertions on the part of the native people. The state 


of the soil at this day evinces the fearful price paid 
for the disputed territory. Holding it then estab- 
lished that the Catrail is only a portion of the great 
line of defence of the natives, extending from the 
Forth to at least the Cheviot range, — if not to 
Adrian's wall, — Ave shall now endeavour to trace its 
course throughout this district. It starts from a 
strength situated on the west bank of the Gala, about 
two miles from Cathie, and from thence it winds round 
Torwoodlee mansion to Kilknowe, near the Gala ; 
it then crosses the road to Galashiels, near Hemp- 
haugh, passing about midway between Gala house 
and Mosalee; thence to the east of old Mosalee house 
by Holybush, to the British strength at Rink. Leav- 
ing this fort, its course is southwest, by Howden- 
potburn, crossing the Tweed at a place where that 
rivulet falls into the river. It then proceeds to an- 
other fort of the same kind on the west side of the 
river, and from thence by Cribs-hill ; the Three Bre- 
thren's Cairn, westward to a place called Wallace's 
Trench, to where it meets the Drove Road near the 
Tup Cairn. It then continues its course by the head 
of Hangingshawburn, passing along the southeast 
slopes of Minchmoor. Holding on its way it passes 
Henhillhope, and ascends the Swinebraehill, near 
Yarrow kirk, crossing the river of Yarrow near to 
the Free Church, and from thence runs to the east 
of Sundhope farm house, Gilmanslaw, and Gilmans- 
cleuch to the river of Ettrick, which it crosses at 
Deloraine. It then runs between the hills of Copelaw 
and Sauchielaw to Clearburn, a little below the loch 


of that name ; thence by Thornycleugh, near to 
which it passes the drove road and the turnpike, a 
little to the west of Redford green ; it then goes by 
Bellenden, and a little to the east of Hoscotshiel, 
and to the west of Deanburncleuch, where it leaves 
the county of Selkirk. When it enters the county of 
Roxburgh, it passes by Broadlee farm house, and 
proceeds to Slatehillmoss ; it then runs in a southeast 
direction to the Teviot river, after passing which it 
runs through the farm of Northhouse to Doecleuch, 
where it is distinctly seen, and also, before it passes 
the Allen water. After crossing the Allen it is lost 
for about a mile, and again found at the east of Dod- 
burn, and visible for about three miles in an eastward 
direction ; it then ascends the Carriage hill, where it 
is very perfect ; it descends this height and crosses 
Longside burn, where it forms the march line between 
the Buccleuch and Stobbs estates. Running along 
the northern base of the Maiden Paps to the Leap- 
steel, it holds on its course to Robertslin, which it 
passes, and after traversing a tract of marshy ground 
called Oocksprat, it crosses the hills which divide 
Teviotdale from Liddesdale, enters on Dawstonerig, 
and from thence to the Peelfell, where it joins that 
strong mountain barrier which separates the two 
kingdoms. In its course through this district, it 
passes near to several British strengths, surrounded 
by fosses and ramparts, Doecleuch, between Teviot 
and Allen, and Burgh, on the east side of the last 
mentioned stream ; another on Whitehillbraes, and 
others at various places near its winding course. These 


forts do not appear as a part of the way, or placed so 
as to strengthen it ; but they rather seem to be in- 
dependent of each other, and only included as occu- 
pying the naturally strong ground embraced by the 
fence. It is not to be forgotten, however, that the 
native people could communicate with all these forts 
as necessity required, and that under cover of the 
works, it has evidently been made in imitation of 
the Roman walls, with their accompanying military 
ways, and although not to be compared to these 
examples of ancient art, yet its formation shows such 
an immense amount of labour, and of perseverance, 
as could only have been undergone by a patriotic 
people in defence of their fatherland. The names of 
places near to the Catrail are instructive as to the 
many battle fields within its area. At the termina- 
tion of it within Teviotdale, is the Catlee, signifying 
the field of conflict, and Catcleuch, the cleuch at the 
conHict, and at the other end is Cathie, Caddon, &c, 
which speak to the same effect. Near the Leader water 
is Cadslee, which also means a field of battle; besides 
a number of other places bearing equally significant 
appellations, such as, Catcune, Catst&nes, &c. It is 
to this period of bloody conflicts where two races of 
people contended for the mastery, that we may safely 
refer the imposition of the name of Waedale, on the 
dale of Gala, and not to the affrays of the swineherds 
of Melrose, with the men of St. Andrews, about the 
right of pasturage in the district between the Leader 
and Gala. 

The Caves in the rocks are another class of re- 


mains which require to be noticed here, although the 
time of their formation is involved in the mists which 
shade antiquity. Our reason for placing them under 
the first period of the occupation of the island is, that 
the testimony in favour of their early use preponde- 
rates over that urged in support of the view that they 
belong to the time of the wars between Scotland and 
England. In the land from whence the first colonists 
of Britain came, caves in the rock were used as places 
of strength, and also as hiding places for the people. 
The Bible affords abundant proof of the existence of 
numerous caves in Palestine, and the uses to which 
they were put. In Britain and Ireland they were 
very common in early times ; and if Diodorus Seculus 
can be credited, it is beyond doubt that the early 
Britons resorted to these subterraneous abodes for 
shelter when danger threatened. They are found in 
Cornwall ; and in the north of Scotland they exist in 
great numbers. That the caves in the rock were 
used during subsequent times we do not deny. They 
were ready-made hiding places for the man who was 
persecuted for conscience sake, as well as the gallant 
chief, who there sought protection from the foe, or 
the hardy freebooter, who sheltered himself with his 
booty from those who were on his track. The dis- 
trict under consideration is full of such caves. The 
nature of the banks of the rivers are favourable for 
their construction. As previously stated, the track 
of the red sandstone formation runs across the county 
from southwest to northeast, with Jedburgh near the 
centre of its course. The banks of the rivers, near 


their influx to the Teviot, are all formed of this rock, 
and easily worked. The Teviot, before it enters the 
Tweed, passes between banks of the same kind, espe- 
cially between Cayle water foot and the ruins of Rox- 
burgh Castle. In former days, before the floods ex- 
posed the bare rocks, the steep banks would be covered 
with hanging wood, the hazel, birch, sloe, and other 
underwood, so as to completely cover the entrance to 
these caves, or hiding places. The rocky and well 
wooded banks of the Jed seem to have been selected 
as a fit place for the construction of these abodes ; 
but owing to the action of the water on the rocks, 
many of these places have been carried away, and 
few now remain to gratify curiosity or afford in- 
struction. Specimens of these hiding places are, 
however, still to be seen in the river banks, near 
Hindalee, Lintalee, and the rocky cliffs at Moss- 
burnford. At Hindalee, part of the caves can, by a 
little exertion and no great risk, be entered. When 
we examined this place sometime ago, we entered by 
a narrow path from the top of the precipice, which is 
about 150 feet high, and found them to consist of a 
large outer apartment with two smaller ones on each 
side. They are cut out of the solid sandstone rock, 
which in various places bear the marks of the tools 
used in their construction. The caves at Lintalee, 
about 200 yards distant from those already described, 
cannot now be entered from a portion of the bank in 
which they are situated being carried away by the 
floods. They seem to have been inaccessible in 1791, 
when Dr Somerville furnished his account of the 


parish of Jedburgh, but he states that they were de- 
scribed to him by old persons who had formerly 
entered them, when the access was less difficult, as 
consisting of three apartments, one on each hand of 
the entrance, and a larger one behind, which had the 
appearance of a great room. It is very probable that 
the faces of the rocks in this locality were all occu- 
pied in the same way, and more secure hiding places 
can scarcely be imagined. All around was dark 
forest, in front a steep precipice, and the only access 
by a narrow foot way, concealed by the hanging 
woods, which covered the tops of the banks. Even 
if traced to their lair, a few bold spirits might defy a 
host. If the dweller in the cave was a lover of the 
picturesque, a glance from the door of his subter- 
raneous abode, would fill his heart with delight. 
About two miles farther up the river, similar caves 
are to be seen in the rocky heugh at Mossburnford, 
and like those at Lintalee, cannot be approach- 
ed from the steepness of the cliff. As the river 
Ale winds round Ancrum, the red sandstone 
banks are very precipitous, in which are a num- 
ber of the same kind of caves — amounting in all 
to about fifteen — formed in the same manner as 
those on the Jed, and provided with fire places, 
and apertures in the roof to carry off the smoke. 
One of these caves is named, " Thomson's Cave"* 

* While the poet resorted to this cave, he was tarrying with his 
friend, Mr Cranstoun, the incumbent of the parish. The cave was 
in the immediate vicinity of the manse. Mr Paton, the minister of 
Ancrum parish, imputes the formation of these caves to the border 


from the fact, it is said, of the author of the 
" Sacred Year" having selected it as a favourite re- 
treat in which he could tune his lyre undisturbed. 
At Grahamslaw, on the banks of the Cayle, near to 
where it flows into the Teviot, are similar caves cut 
out of the same kind of rock, and of various dimen- 
sions. A part of these hiding places are accessible. 
One of these caves is rendered famous from having 
been the place where Lord Douglas held the meeting 
to consolidate the Grahamslaw league, to break which 
he was stabbed in Stirling castle by James II. Near 
to this sequestered place dwelt the celebrated Hobbie 
Hall, remarkable for his piety, and his bodily strength; 
and close to it was the spot where was held one of 
the two great conventicles in Scotland.* On the 
banks of the Teviot, near to Roxburgh, are several 
caves cut out of the middle of a sandstone precipice, 
and are described by Mr Bell, the minister of Rox- 
burgh, as they existed in 1797,*f" as De i n g of large 
dimensions, and that one of them was used as hiding 
places for horses in 1745, when the pretender to the 
crown of Britain went through the parish with his 
army, and from that circumstance it was called the 

wars, and while deploring the sad state of the country which could 
render such places of concealment necessary, dwells with peculiar de- 
light on the poet's occupation of the caves, as affording such a pleasing 
contrast to their original destination. Mr Paton is mistaken as to 
the period of the construction of these hiding places. 

• The other was held at Maybole. 

t Old Statistical Account of the Parish of Roxburgh, vol. xiv., 
p. 114. 


Horse Cave : another, whose mouth was almost 
filled up, and inaccessible, was said by old people to 
have gone far into the bank, and a third was called 
the Dove Cave, from its having been used as a pigeon 

We shall now advert to the remains of the Roman 
People in this district. 

It is not necessary for the object w r e have in view 
to pause and enquire at any length into the reasons 
which led to the invasion of this island by the Ro- 
mans. It is alleged by several, and among these Sue- 
tonius, that it was owing to Csesar's desire of enriching 
himself with the pearl found on the coasts of Britain.* 
It is certain that before the Romans carried their 
arms thither, pearl fisheries existed, and a trade in 
that article carried on between the native people and 
the merchants who constantly visited the island. Taci- 
tus states that the sea produced pearls, but of a dark 
livid colour. This defect was ascribed by some to want 
of skill in this kind of fishery : the people employed in 
gathering contented themselves in gleaning what hap- 
pened to be thrown upon the shore, whereas in the 
Red Sea, the shell fish were found clinging to the rocks 
and taken alive. "f From Pliny's account, the breast- 
plate which the deified Julius dedicated to Venus, in 
the temple of that deity, was composed of British 
pearl.J Gibbon says, " that the pleasing, though 
doubtful intelligence of a pearl fishery attracted their 

* In Julius Caesar, s. 47. 

f Tacitus's Life of Agricola, sec. xii. 

t Pliii. lib. ix., s. 35. 


avarice."* Other writers impute the invasion to 
Caesar having certain intelligence, that in all his wars 
with the Gauls, they had constantly received assist- 
ance from Britain.*!* It may be that the love of gain, 
and a desire to punish the Britons for assistance 
given to their brethren in Gaul, were present in 
Caesar's mind at the time he formed the resolution of 
invading the country, yet there can be little doubt 
that ambition was the principal motive which led him 
thither. About 135 years after the invasion, and 
78 of the Christian era, Julius Agricola was appointed 
to the government of Britain. His first campaign 
was against the Ordovicians who inhabited Wales, 
and had revolted against the Roman power. These 
he entirely subdued, and turned his arms upon the 
island of Mona, which, after a slight resistance, was 
also overcome. These operations having ended his first 
campaign, Agricola, during the winter which followed, 
turned his attention to the condition of the native 
people, who had been grievously oppressed under pre- 
vious commanders and their tax gatherers. " It had 
been," says Tacitus, " the settled practice of the col- 
lectors to engross all the corn, and then adding mock- 
ery to injustice, to make the injured Briton wait at 
the door of the public granary, humbly supplicating 
that he might be permitted to repurchase his own 
grain, which he was afterwards obliged to sell at an 
inferior price. A further grievance was, that instead 

* Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap, i., p. 2. 
f Hook's Roman History, vol. iiL, p. 623. 


of delivering the requisite quantity of corn at the 
nearest and most convenient magazines, the Britons 
were forced to make tedious journeys through diffi- 
cult cross roads, in order to supply camps at a remote 
distance; and thus the business which might have 
been conducted with convenience to all, was converted 
into a job to gratify the avarice of a few."* As soon 
as the summer of 79 opened, Agricola assembled his 
army and marched in quest of the enemy ; he was 
constantly present at the head of the troops, and 
marked out all the stations and encampments, sounded 
estuaries, and explored the woods and forests. Along 
the frontier of the several districts which had sub- 
mitted, he established a chain of posts " with so much 
care and judgment, that no part of the country, even 
where the Roman arms had never penetrated, could 
think itself secure from the vigour of the conqueror."-f- 
It is thought that it was during this summer Agri- 
cola entered upon this district, and that to it the 
statement of Tacitus, just quoted, refers. We do 
not well see how it could be otherwise, as we find that 
during the third summer this eminent commander had 
advanced as far as the Tay, and secured the country 
as he advanced, by forts and garrisons. Jn his fourth 
campaign he secured the country which had been 
over-run, not conquered, in the preceding summer. 
Forts and stations were built upon the isthmus be- 
tween the Forth and Clyde. " On the south side of 

• Tacitus's Life of Agricola, sec. xix. & xx, 
f Ibid. 


the isthmus," states the same authority, " the whole 
country was bridled by the Romans, and evacuated by 
the enemy, who were driven as it were into another 
island."* In these expeditions we are expressly told 
that the fleet acted in concert with the land forces, 
entered the Forth, and explored the coasts beyond 
as far as the Tay. During the campaigns which fol- 
lowed, Agricola defeated the Caledonians, forced them 
to the shelter of their woods and marshes, and would 
have subjugated the whole island had he not been re- 
called by the jealousy of Domitian about the year 85. 
Thirty-five years after Agricola's recal, Adrian 
arrived in this island. During the intervening period 
the natives had broken out, and regained the country 
to the south of the Forth. In this revolt, the Ottadini 
and Gadeni seem to have taken a part, for we find the 
Roman Emperor commencing his campaign by forti- 
fying the land between the Solway and Tine, which 
he would not needed to have done had these tribes 
remained peaceful. On Antonine being raised to 
supreme authority at the death of Adrian, Lollius 
Urbicus*was appointed by him to rule in Britain. In 
the year 139, he reduced to obedience the Brigantes, 
who bounded the Ottadini and Gadeni on the south, 
and then traversed the territory of the latter to the 
Friths of Forth and Clyde, between which he erected 
an earthen rampart, ditch, and military way, for the 
purpose of overawing the Caledonian clans who lived 
beyond it. At the death of Antonine, in 161, Lollius 

• Tacitus, sec. xxiii. 


Urbicus ceased to be propraetor of Britain. The Ro- 
mans having evacuated the forts and stations to the 
north of the wall, the tribes resumed their independ- 
ence, ranged the county between the Forth and Varar, 
and about 183, broke through the boundary wall and 
ravaged the Roman province, but they were driven 
back by Ulpius Marcellus, and tranquillity for a time 
restored. When Severus assumed the purple, things 
were in such a state in Britain that he was obliged 
to visit the country in person, about the year 206, 
accompanied by his two sons, Caracalla and Geta. 
The precautions taken by him before entering this 
district plainly intimates the state of the coun- 
try. After building or repairing the wall Be- 
tween the Solway and Tine, he penetrated into 
the extremity of the island, when the native peo- 
ple sued for peace, which he granted, and then 
returned southward. But ere long the Caledonians, 
impatient of bondage, revolted and broke the peace, 
on which Severus resolved to put them to the sword, 
but before he could carry his designs into execution 
he died at York in 211, in the 68th year of his 
age. On the accession of his son Caracalla, a peace 
was made with the Britons, by which all the terri- 
tory beyond the wall of Antonine was given up to 
them, and for the faithful observance of this treaty, 
hostages were demanded and given by the natives. 
For nearly a century the Caledonians remained quiet. 
On the resignation of Dioclesian, in 305, Britain 
fell under the mild government of Constantius Chlorus, 
who, in the following year, conquered the Caledonians 


and returned to York, where he died. In 323, Constan- 
ts ne the Great became sole emperor, and during his 
reign the lloman force in Britain consisted of 19,200 
foot, and 1700 horse. For a long time the country 
remained quiet, till near the latter end of the reign of 
Constantius, the youngest son of Constantine, the Cale- 
donians, joined by the Scots, who had now arrived 
from Ireland, created some trouble ; but on Lupici- 
nius being sent against them they retired. 

When Valentinian and his brother Valens suc- 
ceeded, in 364, the empire was attacked on all 
hands, which forced the emperor to send over, first 
Severus, then Jovinus and Theodosius. The latter 
general arrived about 367, defeated the enemy at 
London, and next year marched against the Cale- 
donians with a great army, overcame them in battle, 
and repaired the wall between the Forth and Clyde, 
adding many forts and towers. Having thus recovered 
the country lying between the Tine and Forth, it was 
added to the other four British provinces which then 
existed in Britain, and called by Valentinian, Va- 
lentia, in honour of his brother Valens, to whom he 
had given a share of the throne. 

On the death of Valentinian, Maximus, a Spaniard, 
who had served with great distinction, threw off his 
allegiance and assumed regal power. He defeated 
the Scots and Picts, and raised a mighty army, com- 
posed not only of veterans, but the flower of the British 
youth. These he transported to the continent, and 
soon possessed himself of the whole western empire. 
Theodosius, emperor of the east, sent a powerful army 


against Maximus, and defeated him in two engage- 

Britain soon felt the loss of her youth. The Scots 
and Picts, taking the advantage of this state of mat- 
ters, ravaged the province of Valentia, but they were 
driven by the aid of a Roman legion beyond the wall. 
Two years afterwards, a second incursion was made 
into the province, when, on the application of the 
inhabitants, another legion under the command 
of Gallio of Ravenna arrived, and came upon the 
enemy unawares, slew them in great numbers, and 
the rest fled to the north of the wall. This commander 
assisted the south Britons to build and repair the 
wall between the Solway and the Tine, and, when 
it was completed, left never to return. The Romans 
occupied the island for about 475 years. 

The most important remain in this district of the 
Roman people, is the great military way, called the 
Watling-Street. Its name is derived from the 
Saxon Wathol, a road or way. It starts from the 
Prsetorium in Yorkshire, and on its way north 
crosses the Tees river at Pierse bridge, where there 
are the remains of a station on the north bank of 

* The Britons who composed a part of the army of Maximus, 
after his defeat, retired into Armorica, the western promontory of 
Gaul, in hopes of being able to pass from thence into Cornwall, 
but being well received by the inhabitants they settled there, and the 
place was called after them, Brittany. About 403, Constantine car- 
ried another army over to the continent, in which were the flower of 
the British youth, and took possession of the provinces of Gaul and 
Spain, but he was besieged in his capital of Aries, and taken and slain. 
The British part of the army joined their countrymen in Brittany. 


the river. It then proceeds by Binchester, Lan- 
Chester, and Ebchester, at which place it leaves the 
county of Durham, and enters the county of Nor- 
thumberland. It then stretches away to Corbridge, 
where it passes the river Tine. The foundations of 
this bridge still exist. Here a number of remains 
have been found, amongst others two altars, one to 
Hercules, and the other to Ashtaroth, with the fol- 
lowing inscription, " Of Astarte, the altar you see, 
Pwlcher replaced." From Corbridge the road pro- 
ceeds onwards to the wall which runs between Sol- 
way and the Tine, and passes it a little to the west- 
ward of Hunnum. From this place the road runs 
northward, to the east of Cocklaw, Svvineburne, and 
Chipchase Castles, to Risingham station, situated in 
a valley, on the north bank of the Reed river, and 
surrounded by mountains on every side. It has been 
strongly built with stones from a neighbouring quar- 
ry. On a slab, which had formed a portion of the 
south gateway, is an inscription mentioning the re- 
pair of the gate and walls, and containing some of 
the titles of Caracolla, one of the sons of Severus.- In 
addition to the altars already noticed, erected to the 
tutelar deity of the Gadeni people, and examined by 
Camden, several other altars have been discovered at 
this place. One of these is dedicated to the deities 
of the mountains and valleys, one dedicated to " Mi- 
nerva" and another to the u Transmarine Mothers." 
After leaving Risingham, the road takes a northwest 
direction for about eight miles, when it arrives at 
Rochester, the Bremenium of the Romans, occupying 


a pass in the Cheviot range of mountains. The po- 
sition of this station is strong. The walls of it have 
been stronger than those on the Roman wall. " In 
one place the station wall measures seventeen feet in 
thickness ; the interior of it seems to be filled with 
clay. The wall at the northeast corner has been laid 
bare ; seven courses of stones are standing in posi- 
tion. Here some repairs have evidently been effected 
after the original erection of the station, the newer 
part being composed of stones of a larger size than 
the rest of the wall. Between the walls of the station 
and the moat, a space of ground of twelve or fifteen 
feet in width has been levelled, and bedded over with 
clay and gravel, as if to form a platform for military 
operations. The position of the gateway in the 
north and south ramparts may easily be discerned., 
some portions of their masonry remain. There have 
probably been two gateways on the eastern and 
western sides of the station, one gate on the western 
side has recently been cleared. It stands upwards of 
six feet high. The entrance is a single one ; it is 
wider in the outer than the inner margin, but exhi- 
bits an average width of about eleven feet. The 
north jamb of this gateway is crowned with a rudely 
moulded capital, above which is the springing of an 
arch. Underneath the threshold is a regularly built 
drain, which has brought the waste water from the 
station, the inclination of the ground being towards 
the north. A succession of ground stones, covered 
with flags, lie in the threshold of the south gateway ; 
by this channel clean water has probably been 


brought into the station from the mossy ground on 
the southeast of it. This ground is above the level 
of the station, and before being drained, yielded water 
in abundance. In those parts where the station is 
naturally strongest, a single fosse has environed the 
walls ; in those which are less strong, the moat has 
been double ; but at the southeast angle, which is the 
weakest part, it has been quadruple. A portion of 
this fourfold entrenchment has been levelled for the 
purposes of cultivation. Last year, (1851) the field 
was in wheat ; after the crop had been cut, it was 
pleasing to observe, in the comparative rankness and 
strength of the stubble on c the made ground, 1 the 
precise lines of the ditches."* Important remains 
have been found at this station : a mural tablet, with 
a figure of Mars on one side of the inscription, and 
on the other, that of Hercules, with a boar below. 
Several altars have been found. One inscribed, " To 
the Genius and Standards of the first cohort, the 
faithful, of the Varduli, Koman citizens, cavalry, a 
thousand? strong. Titus Licinius Valerianus, tri- 
bune, erected this. 1 ' One was found dedicated to 
Minerva, and a small altar with the inscription, " To 
the gods of the mountains, Julius Firminus, the de- 
curion, erected this." Another inscribed, " To the 
genius of our Emperor, and of the Standards of the 
first cohort of the Varduli, and of the Detachment 
of pioneers of Bremenium, Cornelius Egnatius 
Lucilianus, the imperial Legate, proprsetor under the 

• The Rev. J. C. Bruce, on the Roman wall, p. 301, et seq. 



\%fimm " y -w 


Jizss m Cfeviet Woiai&zzris, 


superintendence of Oassius Sabinianus, the Tribune, 
erected this altar? A slab was found with the follow- 
ing inscription : " In the honour of the Emperor 
Csesar, Titus, JEIius, Hadrianus, Antoninus, Augus- 
tus, Pius, father of his country, under the direction 
of Quintus Lollius Urbicus, Imperial Legate, and 
propraetor the first Cohort of the Lingones, mounted 
erected this building''' A quantity of Samian ware, 
glass pipes, and sandals, have also been discovered at 
this station, which the liberal Duke of Northumber- 
land caused to be explored. 

After the road leaves Rochester it bends straight 
north, and makes for the border line at the head of 
Coquet, passing Holehouse, crossing Thirlmoor, and 
by Gammers Path, reaches C/iswgreen, the Ad Fines 
of the Itinerary. On the west edge of the road, as it 
runs from Redesdale to Chewgreen, there are stones at 
regular distances, called the Golden Pots. These are 
a number of pedestals, each of about two feet cube, 
the upper parts of which are formed into plain mould- 
ings that consequently diminish upwards.* Each 
stone has a square or octagonal hole cut in the upper 
surface, to receive a column about two inches diame- 
ter indented into it. These columns have been 
broken off a little above the base, leaving the lower 
part in the pedestal, though sometimes the cavity is 
quite clear, without any fragment of the shaft stick- 
ing in it. Two of these stones are placed on the 
edge of the road, at less than an English mile dis- 

* Roy's Military Antiquities, page 109. 



tance from each other. General Roy thinks, that 
though these pedestals resemble the basis of ordinary 
crosses, that are to be met with in country villages, 
or smaller market towns; vet from the order in which 
they are placed, it is plain that they must have been 
erected by the Romans, for the single purpose of 
marking the distances on this highway. A similar 
stone is found standing on the DeviVs Causeway, 
between the Bremish and Till, about seven feet high, 
and popularly known as Percy's cross. The same 
kind of stones are also to be seen in various places on 
the edges of the Roman way. From their shape 
he thinks that they have been erected during the 
reign of Antoninus Pius. The repairer of the roads 
was known by the shape of the mile-stones set 
upon its edge. The mile-stone of Augustus is round, 
and of twenty-four inches diameter, with an inscrip- 
tion engraved, without any ornament. The shape of 
Tiberius' were square, like pedestals, and little po- 
lished. Those of Claudius, are round, with the in- 
scription contained in a border, and nearly two-thirds 
of an inch deep in the stone, with a sort of moulding 
about them. Those of Antoninus Pius, were much 
like Claudius 1 , only with this difference, that the 
columns of Antoninus are not so high, and that part 
which is in the ground is square, like a pedestal, 
much larger than the body of the column.* 

before arriving at the station of Chewgreen, the 
road crosses the Coquet near its source, keeping 

• M. D. C. Balistie. 


Harden edge and Spitthope neck on the west, and 
Mackenton on the east. It is situated on the north of 
the Coquet, and between it and Brownhartlaw, and 
on the east and west sides, two small burns run into 
the Coquet. The road on crossing the stream, bends 
a little to the right, and then runs along the east 
side of the station, between it and the rivulet. A 
number of camps are here clustered together, and in- 
tersecting each other. The original camp seems to 
have been a square of about 1000 feet, with the cor- 
ners slightly rounded, and the entrances on the east 
and west surrounded by a double line of entrench- 
ments. On the north of this square camp, is another 
of an oblong shape, measuring about 1000 feet 
in length, and nearly 180 wide. The south end 
includes about 200 feet of the square camp. The 
gate is on the north end, and it also is enclosed by 
a double line of entrenchments. On the west side of 
the square camp, and near the middle is another 
camp of 500 feet square, with gateways on the east, 
west, and north. The west entrance is opposite the 
gate of the large camp. Then in the middle, at the 
east side, is another small fort, protected by quad- 
ruple entrenchments, the outer line of which is about 
400 feet square, and the inner entrenchment 200 feet. 
It has been entered by the east and west. Besides 
these there seems to have been a number of smaller 
camps intersecting the lines of the others, and also 
extending to the outside of the larger camps. It is 
probable that the fort on the east side was possessed 
by a permanent garrison. 


On leaving this station the road bends to the east, 
round the mountain called Brownhartlaw; and while 
doing so, it crosses the border line, and from thence 
proceeds northward on the back of the range of hills 
which send down their streams into the Cayle, near 
the Hindhopes, on the west of Blackhallhill and 
Resby-fell ; thence by the head of Skerrysburghope, 
and onwards for Wodenlaw, the eastern base of 
which it skirts, and descends the mountains to the 
Cayle, which it passes at Towford. On the top of 
Wodenlaw there have been two forts, defended on the 
southeast by triple ramparts, for the purpose of 
guarding this strong mountain pass. This elevated 
position commands a magnificent prospect on the 
west, north, and east. Westward, the whole northern 
slopes of the Cheviot range are exposed to view. On 
the north, the lofty range of the Lammermoors limits 
the vision, while eastward the German ocean is vi- 
sible. Between these stations and the summit of 
Soltra lies a beautiful country, encircled by these 
alpine summits, extending to nearly 40 miles in dia- 
meter. Almost in the middle of this magnificent 
scene the three peaked Eildons are plainly seen from 
base to crest. From this elevated position the Ro- 
man engineers would survey the country to the north- 
ward, for the purpose of choosing the best line for 
their military way, and the one adopted is a testi- 
mony to their skill. A better route could not have 
been selected. They seem to have drawn a straight 
line from the border mountains by Penielheugh to the 
Eildon hills, and from thence direct to the Larcmer- 


moors. We can hardly imagine the difficulties they 
would have to surmount in their passage through a 
region full of swamps, tangled forests, deep and rapid 
rivers. Amidst snow and ice these sons of Italy 
persevered in their labour till every portion of the 
country was intersected by their roads, and com- 
manded by stations and forts. 

On fording the Cayle the road ascends the north 
bank, and in about three quarters of a mile reaches 
a place called Street House, distant about six miles 
from Ohewgreen, where Agricola encamped. The 
form of the camp is an oblong square of about 1 700 
feet long, and near 1100 feet in width. It is placed 
on the west side of the road, and seems to have been 
surrounded by triple entrenchments. On the east 
and west are the two principal gates opposite to each 
other. On the north is another entrance, and on the 
south one gateway is still to be seen with its traverse. 
On the southeast the entrenchments have been partly 
destroyed. The vallum and fosse are carried outward 
at right angles on the east side, where the ground is 
suitable, so as to include a considerable additional 
space. The superficial extent of the whole area is 
about 32 acres. Part of the entrenchments have 
been levelled by the plough, and other portions of it 
have been destroyed to aid in the building of fences. 
When the camp was surveyed by Roy in 1752, the 
ramparts and entrenchments were well defined, ex- 
cepting on the southeast angle, and the traverses 
covering the gateways were very distinct. The camp 
occupies a commanding position between the Cayle 



and the sources of the Oxnam. From this camp, the 
road in its way northward passes Middlesknows, 
Smailcleuch, Swinelaw, and Upper Chatto. It then 
winds round Cunzierton hill, on the summit of which 
is a strongly entrenched British fort, and thence by 
the Batts, Hardenhead, Baunesfen, to Capehope, 
where it passes the Oxnam water. After fording 
this stream it ascends the high ground between the 
Oxnam and the Jed, a little to the east of Jedburgh, 
the northern slope of which it descends to the river 
Jed, which it crossed to the next station at Bonjed- 
worth. There are now no remains of this station ; 
but about the middle of last century part of the 
buildings existed, and a portion of which are repre- 
sented in Ainslie's map of the county, and also re- 
ferred to by Miln in his work. The situation was 
well adapted for a station, and one which the Romans 
loved to occupy. The rivers Teviot and Jed here 
formed a peninsula, the ground gradually sloping 
from the Dunion ridge to where the two rivers meet. 
It was at this place also that the Teviot required to 
be crossed ; and from the remains of large oaks which 
have from time to time been dug up in the locality, 
it is likely that they were used in the passage of the 
river. Dov\n to a late period Bonjed worth con- 
tinued to be a place of importance. In the days of 
suffering for conscience sake, many distinguished in- 
dividuals were imprisoned in its castle ; but it is now 
reduced to a few cottages and two farm houses. 
The situation is at the present day one of great 
beauty, and in the Roman period would not be with- 


out loveliness. From the British tribes occupying 
the strong positions on Penielheugh and Downlaw, 
on the north bank of the river, it is probable that the 
legions experienced considerable annoyance in their 
passage of the river. 

Between Chewgreen and Bonjedworth the road is 
open, and often used by the farmers and inhabitants 
of the district. It used to be the resting place of the 
poor gipsy, till a clever bench of Justices, at Jed- 
burgh, found that the provisions of the highway sta- 
tute applied to it, and these outcasts were accordingly 
forbidden to pitch their camps on its edge. But 
while this despised race are prohibited from kindling 
a fire on its side, the proprietors of land along its 
course do not scruple to appropriate the whole way 
to themselves, and if a stop be not put to such prac- 
tices, this monument of the power and skill of a mighty 
people will soon altogether disappear. It is thought 
that no proprietor of lands through which the road 
runs has any title to include any portion of it within 
his fences. The crown holds the soil of the road for 
the public, and it can only be alienated by act of par- 
liament. Owing to the cause already referred to, 
scarcely any part of the way can be traced from the 
station at Bonjedworth northwards, which is greatly 
to be regretted ; and it is hoped that what of the road 
now exists will be spared for the gratification and 
instruction of future generations. 

The road has been constructed according to the 
usual method adopted by the Romans. " In general" 
says Major Roy, " the Roman ways are from 18 


to 24 feet wide, and have been executed in different 
manners, according to the nature of the countries 
through which they respectively led. Where granite 
or any stone of a hard or durable nature was found 
near at hand, there they seem to have paved their 
roads, forming them into a sort of rough causeway, 
not much elevated in the middle. Where the mate- 
rials consisted of soft freestone, or of coarse gravel, 
they appear to have disposed of them, stratum super 
stratum, in the same manner as the modern turnpike 
roads are constructed. In other places, where stone 
and gravel were scarce, that is to say to be brought 
from a great distance, which is but seldom the case 
in north Britain, the Romans seem not only to have 
made their roads broader, but likewise higher too in 
proportion, from the promiscuous materials which the 
side ditches afforded, contenting themselves with a 
thinner coat of the hard stuff at the top/ 1 * Between 
the two stations of Bonjed worth and Chewgreen tho 
road is well defined, and appears to be fully 24 feefc 
broad, and in many places exceeding that measure- 
ment. When its course is over dry and hard ground, 
its raised middle and rounded form is very marked. 
Wherever it passes over firm soil, the causeway, as 
laid by the hands of the Roman soldier, is still to be 
seen firmly joined together, with the largest stones 
placed in the centre. Where a marsh is to be cross- 
ed, stones of every size are to be found, as if they 
had been thrown in to make the ground solid. All 

• Roy's Military Antiquities, p. 108. 


along the line of the way, the quarries, out of which 
the stones used in its construction were obtained, may 
yet be noticed. 

On the road leaving Bonjed worth, it passed the 
river Teviot, near to where Mount Teviot stands. Ifc 
then proceeded through the inclosures surrounding that 
mansion, and onwards to a farm place called Howden, 
and thence by the west side of Downlaw, over Lil- 
liard's edge, to where the road to Maxton crosses it, 
near to which the military way, and the Edinburgh 
and Jedburgh turnpike coalesces with each other. For 
three miles and a half of this part of its course, it 
forms the boundary between the parishes of Ancrum 
and Maxton. It then stretched away by St. Bos- 
wells, in the direction of the village of Newtown, 
where its course some years ago was very discernible 
before it reached Bowdenburn. From Newtown it 
then ran straight for the village of Eildon, where 
there was a station. It is believed that this place is 
the Trimontium of the Itinerary. Great diversity of 
opinion prevails upon this disputed point, and it cer- 
tainly is not a matter unattended with difficulty. 
Those who hold a different view, place the Trimon- 
tium at Birrenswork hill, in the land of the Selgovse. 
Amongst these is Chalmers, who contends stout- 
ly for the Trimontium being placed at Birrenswork 
hill, and ridicules the idea that there are any grounds 
for believing that a station of that name existed at 
the village of Eildon. But while Mr Chalmers dis- 
cusses the question of the locality of the Trimontium, 
he leaves out, or neglects to dispose of the most im- 


portant, and as we think a conclusive reason for 
holding, that the Eildon is the Trimontium of the 
Iter. We shall very briefly notice the point under 
consideration. When the wall of Antoninus was 
built between the Friths of Forth and Clyde, with 
the view of keeping under control the clans who lived 
on the north of it, roads were also constructed through 
the province of Valentia, between the two walls, along 
which the legions travelled. On these roads stations 
were placed at certain distances from each other, 
occupied by garrisons, and at which the armies pass- 
ing along the way rested. One of these iters ran 
from Carlisle, through the territories of the Selgova? 
and Novantes, to the northern wall at Camelon, a 
distance of about ninety miles. The fifth iter ran 
from the east end of Antoninus' wall, between the 
two tribes of the Ottadini and Gadeni, by Currie, 
Eildon hills, Bonjedworth, Streethouse, Wodenlaw, 
Chewgreen, Rochester, and Risingham, to the wall of 
drian. Richard the monk names the stations on 
this last iter, as they occur on the journey, from the 
northern wall southward, Curia, Fines, Bremenium, 
and Corstoplium. On the other iter he calls the 
names of the stations, after leaving Carlisle to go 
northward, Trimontium, Gadenica, Coria, and from 
thence to the wall of Antoninus. To explain his 
views, Richard refers to a map artifically delineated. 
In preparing this map he states, that he made use 
of the previous map of Ptolemy, and the helps which 
he conld obtain from others ; but on comparing the 
two maps, they will be found to resemble each other 


in a very striking manner. Richard, however, fur- 
nishes a list of Roman places, on the several routes, 
with the distances marked between several of these 
places, while distances are marked without names of 
places. The three first distances along the Watling 
Street, from the north to the south, are left blank ; 
but the information he gives is deemed important, 
inasmuch as it points out where Coria and Ad Fines 
are to be searched for, besides being in harmony with 
the Itinerary of Antoninus. Ptolemy, no doubt, places 
the Trimontium near to the Solway, but it is suppos- 
ed that he had fallen into an error in doing so. It is 
said that the Alexandrian geographer compiled his 
account of Britain from a map which consisted of two 
parts, one comprehending the south, and the other the 
north part of the island. When he joined these to- 
gether, it is thought that he gave Scotland a twist 
eastward, so as to place it nearly at right angles to 
the north part, and it is owing to this circumstance 
that so much uncertainty prevails, as to the situa- 
tions of places "within the two walls. In addition 
to this uncertainty caused by the false junction of 
the map of Ptolemy, the land between the two walls 
was the scene of continued strife, and during which, 
the stations, as well as names, might be changed, so 
as to make it next to impossible to fix either with 
any degree of certainty, unless in the case where the 
name had been imposed at first from some remark- 
able natural appearance of the locality. When the 
name of the place agrees with its quality, or is de- 
scriptive of its appearance, then no doubt can be 



that the name is correctly given. Mr Chalmers, com- 
menting on the Itinerary of Richard, urges the claim 
for Birrenswark hill to the title of Trimontium, because 
the hill which is situated between the rivers Mein and 
Milk, in Annandale, is of itself remarkable, besides 
being the exact position which the Trimontium is 
made to occupy in Richard's map. It is also stated 
to command an extensive prospect of the surrounding 
country, comprehending Dumfriesshire, the east part 
of Galloway, nearly all Cumberland, and a part of West- 
moreland ; that the hill is seen from afar, and early at- 
tracted the notice of the Roman people, and on which 
they had two camps ; one of these 300 yards long, and 
200 yards broad, and the other 300 yards long, and 
100 yards broad.* The name, Mr Chalmers says, is 
derived from the British prefix Tre, a town, but he 
leaves the latter part of the word unexplained. Gene- 
ral Roy, who surveyed a part of those ways about the 
middle of last century, fixes the station of Trimontium 
either at the village of Eildon, Newstead, or at Old 
Melrose, in the immediate vicinity of the Eildon hills. 
His reasons for arriving at this conclusion appear 
very satisfactory to those who are acquainted with 
the locality, and may be very shortly stated. " In 
surveying the line of the Border in 1 752, the entrench- 
ments at Chewgreen, on the head of Coquet, those at 
Wodenlaw, and likewise the track of the Watling- 
Street between them, had been taken notice of 
in the usual way ; but when these operations were 

* Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. 1, page 120, et seq. 


carrying on, as antiquities of this kind were not very 
particularly attended to, therefore the further conti- 
nuation of this road towards the Tweed was not then 
sought for, though it was observed, in general, to 
point towards the Eildon hills. However, when on 
enquiry afterwards made, it was found that the old 
course of the way might be traced for near twenty 
miles together, almost in a direct line upon these hills, 
the conjecture that hereabouts the Trimontium was 
situated, seemed to acquire new strength. Accor- 
dingly, directions were given to examine the neigh- 
bourhood of the Eildons, in order to see whether any 
vestiges of a station could be discerned near them, 
and in consequence of this search some imperfect 
traces of an entrenchment were perceived at the village 
of Eildon, situated under the eastern skirt of the 
hills. These vestiges, which are to be seen near the 
south-west angle of the village, on the east side of the 
Roman way, were further observed in 1771 ; but it 
must be owned were found by much too slight to de- 
cide absolutely the point in question. .Nevertheless, 
from all the circumstances taken together, the aspect 
of the hills corresponding exactly with the name, two 
Roman ways leading towards them, and particularly 
from the traces of that which hath gone from Carlisle, 
whether it was ever finished or not, yet along which 
the ninth Iter of Richard seems to have proceeded ; 
there is surely good reason to believe that the ancient 
Trimontium of the Romans was situated somewhere 
near these three remarkable hills, at the village of 
Eildon, Old Melrose, or perhaps about Newstead, 


where the Watling Street hath passed the Tweed ; 
and if so, in vain then have we hitherto sought for 
this place in Annandale, where we meet neither with 
suitable remains of stations, corresponding itineraries, 
nor remarkable etymology to guide us *" 

Since the survey made by Roy, important discove- 
ries have been made tending to confirm his view that 
a station existed in this neighbourhood. It is well 
ascertained that, on the sloping ground between the 
Eildons and the bank of the river Tweed, ancient 
buildings had existed, although their character could 
not be iixed. Many thought the buildings belonged to 
the neighbouring abbeys, while others imagined that 
the knights templars owned the subjects. The gene- 
ral idea, however, seemed to be that a religious house, 
of one kind or another, had stood there, and conse- 
quently the name of Red-abbey-stead was conferred 
upon it. But there are no solid grounds for believing 
that it was originally a religious house, whatever it 
may afterwards have become in the course of time. 
It is more probable that the buildings formed a part 
of a Roman station which, beyond doubt, existed in 
the locality. A moment's consideration is sufficient to 
satisfy any mind that a station was not only requisite 
at this place, but that it behoved to be one of more 
than ordinary importance. The Romans had a deep 
and rapid river to pass in the face of a vigilant enemy 
occupying the strong positions on the north bank. 
Between the river and the Lammermoors the whole 

* Roy's Military Antiquities, p. 117, plate 22. 


course of the road was through a tract of country 
which for centuries remained a forest, in which the 
flocks of swine belonging to the monks of Melrose 
pastured. The river, too, could only be forded at 
intervals, for in those days its channel was very diffe- 
rent from what it is now found to be. The legions 
would thus be compelled to stay for a considerable 
time on their first arrival; and even when the country 
was secured by forts and stations they could not cal- 
culate on passing the Tweed at their pleasure, until 
they erected a permanent bridge. The minister of 
Melrose, who wrote in 1743, states that, on the east of 
Newstead, at Red-abbey-stead, " there has been 
a famous bridge over the Tweed ; the entrance to it 
on the south side is very evident, and a great deal of 
fine stones are dug out of the arches of the bridge 
when the water is low."* There can be little doubt 
that the Romans passed the Tweed here, and pro- 
ceeded on their way northward up the west bank of 
the Leader. In after years it afforded means of access 
to Malcolm — who loved the southern borders — to his 
burgh on the Jed, where he delighted to dwell. Miln 
further states that, in his day, when the ground was 
ploughed or ditched, the foundations of several houses 
were discovered, a great deal of lead got, and some 
curious seals.*)- Since that time a number of Roman 
remains have been turned up. In 1783 a stone was 
found by Thomas Vair, weaver in Newstead, while 

* Miln's Melrose, p. 7. 
t Ibid. 


he was engaged ploughing in a field next to the 
building referred to. It measured about two feet long 
and one foot broad ; and was said to have been pre- 
sented by Vair to the Museum in Edinburgh. This 
stone seems to have been forgotten till a similar one 
was discovered at the same place about 1830, when 
a search was made by Dr. Smith, which ended 
in the discovery of the stray altar in the Advocates' 
Library. In the accompanying plate is an engrav- 
ing of this altar, with the inscription as given in the 
proceedings of the Antiquarian Society ; but which 
we think scarcely accurate. According to the read- 
ing of Dr. Smith, the inscription on it is* " Cam- 
pesteibus Sacrum, Aelius, Marcus, Decurio,-)* Alae, 
Augusts, Vocontio; Votum Solvit Libentissime 

• Dr John Alex Smith, the writer of several able notices in the 
proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, in regard to 
the Roman remains turned up at Newstead, gives the history of the 
finding of the stone by Thomas Vair. The late Mr John Bower, 
Melrose, had taken a copy of the inscription, and in a note added, that 
the altar so found was given to the Museum, Edinburgh. Mr Smith, 
while looking over Stuart's " Caledonia Romana" noticed an in- 
scription which had been taken from an altar said to be "in good 
preservation, but rudely executed, and seems to belong to the third 
or fourth century," was struck with its similarity to the copy in- 
scription furnished by Bower. The altar referred to by Stuart was 
said to be in the advocates' library, where it had long been preserved. 
A search was then made, and an altar exactly like the one referred 
to by Stuart, and also by Bower, as found by Vair, was got in 
the advocates' library. Mr Smith then enters into a process of rea- 
soning to prove that the altar found in the advocate's library is the 
the one found by Vair; and we think he has shown good cause why 
the two should be held one and the same. 

t Commander over ten men. 


; D r I 





Mrc-RiTO," which he renders, " Sacred to the Field 
Deities; Aelius Marcus, Decurio of the Ala or Wing, 
styled the August {under the command of) Vocontius, 
a vow most willingly performed.' 1 '' He adds that u The 
altar is chipped at the side, and might read originally 
Vocontior ; in which case the word, rendered a proper 
name, should rather be Vocontiorum, of the nation 
of the Vocontii." We are inclined to render the in- 
scription, — " Matribus Campestribus Sacrum, Aelius, 
Marcus, Decurio, Alae, Augustse, Vocontio; Votum 
Solvit Libentissime Merito," and read it " Sacred to 
the Campestral Mothers, Aelius, Marcus, Decurio of 
the wing, styled Augustan, of the nation of the Vocontii, 
pays his vow willingly, cheerfully, and deservedly?* 
44 Under the empire the Ala was applied to regiments 
of horse raised, it would seem, with very few excep- 
tions, in the provinces."-)* The wing at this station, 
we are told by the altar, was composed of recruits 
from the Vocontians, a people who inhabited the banks 
of the Rhone. It is thought by Horsley that the title 
of Herculian was conferred on the Augustan Ala by 
the emperor Maximianus Herculinus. Traces of 

* Horsley in his work, " Vows in Trouble," remarks — There is one 
thing in these Pagan votive altars, that maybe a shame and reproach 
to a great many who call themselves Christians, and that in the will- 
ingness and cheerfulness with which they paid, or pretended to pay, 
the vows they had made. Much more deservedly, and therefore more 
willingly and cheerfully should the vows made to the Most High, to 
the true and living God, be paid or performed to Him, and particu- 
larly the vows made in trouble. 

f Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. 



these soldiers of Rome are to be seen in several places. 
At old Carlisle there was found, in 177-5, an altar in- 
scribed, " To Jupiter, best and greatest, for the safety 
of the emperor Lucius Septemius Severus, our Au- 
gustus ; The cavalry of the wing, styled the Augustan, 
under the direction of Egnatius Verecundus, prefect, 
placed this.' 1 At Bewcastle, Camden found a grave- 
stone containing the letters, " The second legion, the 
August made this.™ At Hunnum, a stone was found 
with the inscription, " Legio Secunda Augusta, fecit." 
In the foundations of a Mile Castle at Hotbank, a 
slab was got containing the following inscription, — 
" Of the Emperor Caesar Trajanus, Hadrianus Au- 
gustus the second legion, styled the August, Aulus 
Platorius Nepos being legate and propraetor. 11 At 
Newtown of Irthington, a slab bears evidence that the 
same legion erected a mile castle, and at Middleby 
their mark is also to be seen. At Maryport, a slab 
testifies to the fact that the building was the joint pro- 
duction of the second and twentieth legions. Both 
these legions seem to have occupied the station at 
the Eildons. They are supposed to have been in 
T3ritain so early as the beginning of the 2d century. 

About thirty years ago, a tenant of a field immedi- 
ately to the west of the Red-abbey-stead, while mak- 
ing improvements on his lands, came upon a portion 
of the Watling Street, causewayed, running north 
and south ; and among the materials turned up by 
the spade, was a stone having sculptured on it a boar. 
This was the symbol of the twentieth legion, surnam- 
cd the valiant and victorious; and the finding of the 


stone is important as proving the passing of this por- 
tion of the army along the Roman way which we have 
now been endeavouring to trace, with its forts andsta- 
tions. As stated in our previous pages, a mural tablet 
was found at Rochester, on which the symbol of this 
legion was figured, proving that the detachment had 
erected some buildings at that station. Now we find 
the well-known symbol of the legion on the banks of 
the Tweed. Would that the intervening stations 
were also explored. On the south of the building 
there was found, in a field, about three feet below the 
surface, by a person who was digging a drain, an 
altar dedicated to the gods of the woods. It is re- 
presented on the accompanying plate, and measures 
43 inches high, 18 inches broad, and 12 inches thick.* 
On it is inscribed " Deo.Silvano, pro salute sua et 
suorum, Caruius, Domitianus, centurio Legionis, Vf- 


Merito i"^ which may be rendered, " To the god Sil- 
vanus, for his own and his soldiers' 1 safety. Carrius 
Domitianm, the centurion of the twentieth legion, strong, 
victorious, fulfils his vow most willingly, cheerfully, and 
deservedly." Silvanus seems to have been the god who 
presided over the forests, and to whom altars were de- 
dicated for the supply of beasts of chase in the woods 
for the amusement of the warriors of Rome, and also 

* Proceedings of the Antiquaries of Scotland, vol. i., p. 29,— 
Paper by Dr Smith. 

f The altar is now in the possession of Thomas Tod, Esq. of Dry- 
grange, the proprietor of the lands. 


for protection to them while travelling through the 
forests. In this inscription we can read the difficul- 
ties and dangers which the twentieth legion encoun- 
tered during their passage through the forests which 
lay between Rochester and the Eildons. Well might 
the centurion feel grateful, and willingly perform his 
vow. The country was naturally strong, and the na- 
tives courageous. An altar consecrated to the same 
deity was found at Birdoswald, and inscribed " To 


consecrated this/ 1 * The remains found at a number 
of stations afford testimony that the Romans loved 
to follow the chase, and on the same mountains which 
had in after years echoed to the horns of Douglas 
and Percy.-[" 

About 1845, a building was discovered near to Red- 
abbey-stead, and close upon the Watling Street, by a 
person cutting a drain in that place. This building was 
carefully examined at the time by Mr John Smith, 
architect, Darnick, a gentleman well qualified for the 
duty, and from whose report to the secretary of the 
antiquarian society in Edinburgh, we are indebted 

* Bruce on the Roman Wall, p. 39,5. 

t At Corbridge, a silver dish, capable of containing a sheep, was 
found, with the principal figures of Diana, Minerva, Juno, Vesta, 
and Apollo. Diana is armed with a bow and arrow. Below her 
feet is an urn, with water flowing from it ; in front of her is an 
altar with an offering of a globular form upon it, and below the 
altar is a greyhound looking up to the goddess. Juno is figured 
with her right hand uplifted, and at her feet lies a dead buck. The 
plate is in the possession of the Duke of Northumberland.— Hodgson's 
Northumberland, ii., iii., p. 246. — Bruce, p. 312. 


for a knowledge of the remain, which clearly formed 
a portion of the Roman station. " The building was 
rather more than two feet under the surface of the 
ground, and consisted of two low, apparently sunk, or 
face walls, about three feet deep, built of hewn red- 
sandstone, laid in courses, and inclosing an elongated 
space, increasing gradually in breadth from the open- 
ing to the other extremity, which was shut in by a 
semicircular wall, the whole forming, from being bent 
considerably, a figure somewhat resembling a chemist's 
retort. The walls were formed of only one stone in 
thickness, and each stone is described as varying from 
six, to ten, or twelve inches in depth. They seem to 
have been built dry, as no appearance of lime, or 
mortar, was observed. The entrance or doorway was 
turned towards the northwest, and was four feet 
two inches wide ; seventeen feet from this, the 
building was five feet four inches wide ; eighteen 
feet further up the interior, it was six feet nine 
inches ; and eighteen feet still further, it was seven 
feet wide ; the whole length of the interior, mea- 
sured along the centre, being fifty-four feet ; and 
a line drawn from the outside of the entrance 
across, to the beginning of the curved extremity, was 
thirty-six feet in length. Nothing was found within 
the space enclosed by the walls of the building, ex- 
cept dressed stones of various sizes and shapes ; some 
of them simply flat pavement like slabs, which were 
most numerous near the entrance ; others, flat stones 
bevelled on one side, along which a notch was cut longi- 
tudinally. These last were about seven and a half 


inches thick, the bevelled projection being seven inches 
in length ; they were indiscriminately mixed with 
the pavement like stones, which were about the same 
thickness ; but the bevelled ones were found in great- 
est number, in the wider portions of the interior, or 
from about the middle to the closed extremity. Two 
larger stones were also found, having a rich moulding 
cut on one side; they measured about four feet in 
length, two feet three inches in width, and eight inches 
in thickness. One of these moulded stones was given, 
I believe, to Lord Pol wart h, and the other was cut- 
and altered, for some economical use. I was fortun- 
ate enough to get a small portion of the latter, (which 
was presented to the society's museum) : it distinct- 
ly shews the central member of the moulding, the well 
known rope or cable pattern — one that frequently 
occurs on various Roman ornamental stones or 
tablets, and also forming part of a moulding in al- 
most the same, or at least, a corresponding position 
to this, in some of the Roman altars that have been 
discovered in Scotland. The moulding was considered 
by some of my friends, architects, to be undoubtedly 
Roman in its character. The stones found in the 
interior of the building, may have been merely a 
coping to the walls, or, what is more probable the 
remains of the roof, which had covered the vault ; 
this latter opinion is strengthened by the fact of 
several of the stones being found apparently in situ, 
on the top of the wall, so as to favour the idea of its 
being covered by a somewhat arch-like, or flattened 
roof, — one row of stones being placed with the bevel- 


led part projecting inwards, and others in a similar 
way above it ; thus corbelling in, or encroaching on 
the central space, and shortening the bearing of the 
roof, so that a flat stone or two on the top would 
complete the enclosure, and thus do away with the 
necessity of long stones, which are by no means plen- 
tiful in this neighbourhood ; and reminding one of 
the ancient so-called Cyclopean edifices, which were 
arched in a somewhat similar way. In favour of this 
view, I may refer to the position which the stones 
occupied in the interior of the building; the bevelled 
ones being found in most abundance towards the 
widest parts ; and the flat stones, being possibly the 
covers of the whole, were many of them rather in 
short lengths, having apparently been broken by the 
falling in of the roof. The two moulded stones were 
found near the inner or closed extremity of the build- 
ing ; and as they can scarcely be supposed, from their 
totally different character, to have formed part of the 
roof, they had probably been portions of some enclo- 
sure, which may have existed at that part of the 

It is unsafe to hazard even a conjecture as to the 
building examined by Mr Smith, further than that it 
appears to have formed a part of the Roman station. 
Underground vaults were common at these stations. 
Vaults of a similar kind have been seen at various 
places on the wall between the Solway and Tine, but it 
is not easy to ascertain their use. Might not the vault 
have been used for heating the chambers above ? At 
Cilurnum station, a curious vault was discovered, 


formed of rough masonry, the sides inclining slightly 
inwards — the roof formed of three arched ribs, and 
each course of stones, filling up the intervals be- 
tween the ribs, are made to project inwards a little, 
until one laid on the top covers the whole open space. 
The vault here seems to have been after the same 
etyle. But till more of the station be explored, it is 
out of the question to attempt to solve its use. It is 
feared that the value of the land for agricultural pur- 
poses will forbid further operations amongst the 
foundations of this Roman town. 

During the construction of the Hawick branch of 
the North British railway in 1846, the excavators ex- 
posed a few more remains of the town. In a space of 
about thirty yards square, a number of pits of a circu- 
lar form, and of various sizes were opened up ; two of 
them were twenty feet deep, two feet six inches in 
diameter, and cased in masonry ; three or four were 
fifteen feet deep, and four feet in diameter, without 
any building. There were also a number of small 
pits, three or four feet deep, and of about the same 
diameter, lined throughout with a layer of white clay, 
in some four or six inches thick. These pits contain- 
ed ashes mixed with earth, and pieces of pottery, 
with silver and brass Roman coins.* Near these pits, 

• From a paper read before the Physical Society of Edinburgh, in 
April 1851, on the various animal remains, as Bos longifrons, &c, found 
with Roman pottery, near Newstead, with notes in reference to the ori- 
gin of our domestic cattle, and wild white cattle of this country, by J. 
A. Smith, M.D., Mr Smith, thinks that the pits had been the burying 
places of the station, " and that in them were deposited the unurned 


stratums of burnt earth, mixed with wood charcoal, 
were found, containing Samian ware, bones and teeth 
of animals. In a pit ten feet deep, and three feet in 
diameter, near to the large built pits, a human skele- 
ton was found erect, with a spear beside it. The 
head of the spear was of iron, and measured 14 inches 
long, and at the widest part one inch and a half. 
There were also found remains of the horse, hog, 
deer, and skulls of the bison, and the urus, which in 
the early days ranged uncontrolled in the forests of 
the district. 

Although medals and coins found in a locality do 
not of themselves prove the antiquity of the build- 
ings within which they are got, they are of value, 
taken along with other circumstances, in establishing 
the period of occupation of the people by whom they 
were dropt. With this view we shall shortly notice the 
lloman coins picked up in the neighbourhood of Red- 
abbey-stead. Miln, in his work on the parish of Mel- 
rose, states, that "several Roman medals, or coins, 
have been found about this place, some of gold, some 
of silver, and of brass, as of Vespasian, Trajan, Had- 
rian, Antoninus Pius, M. Aurelius, and Constan- 
tine." In addition to these coins mentioned by Mr 
Miln, there have been turned up in the ruins of build- 
ings, in fields, and in railway cuttings, a regular succes- 
sion of coins, from the days of Augustus, to the period 
of the final departure of the legions from the island. 

ashes gathered from the extinguished funeral piles of the dead, the 
remains of sacrificed animals being thus apparently laid on them, as 
their most appropriate covering." 


The state of preservation of many of these coins is 
such as to warrant the belief that they were not long 
in circulation. 

From the discoveries at the Red -abbey-stead, we 
may safely hold it established that when the Watling 
Street left the entrenchments at the village of Eildon, 
it passed straight on to the station, and crossed the 
river by the bridge pointed out by Miln. Before fol- 
lowing the road further at present, we shall offer a 
few observations on the site of the Trimontium. It 
is said by Chalmers, that the station is placed on the 
map of Ptolemy, in the country of the Selgovse. This 
is no doubt correct ; but had Ptolemy joined the two 
parts of the map according to the true position of the 
country, the Trimontium would have appeared as oc- 
cupying the exact situation claimed for it at Eildon 
hills. It is important to notice, that although Ptol- 
emy places the station in the Selgovse country, it is 
on a river that flows into the German ocean. It is true 
that the river is wrong placed on the map, being too far 
south for the Tweed; but still it proves that the idea 
entertained by the geographer was, that the river, on 
which the Trimontium stood, entered the ocean on 
the same side of the Island with the Forth. The site 
claimed for the station, by Chalmers, is to the west of 
the high mountain range rnnning north and south ; 
but all the rivers which drain that land empty their 
waters into the Solway or the Irish sea. Now 
Ptolemy wished his map to represent that the river 
on which the Trimontium stood flowed into the Ger- 
man ocean. It is easy to imagine mistakes as to the 


exact locality of a town in a country situated as this 
district was at that early period ; but it is not pos- 
sible that the map maker could mistake the one 
side of the island for the other. Had Ptolemy not 
given the river on which the station was situated, 
there might have been room for doubt ; but having 
given both the station and the river on which it is 
placed, frees thesite of the Trimontiumof any difficulty. 
But a more conclusive reason for fixing the site of 
Trirnontium at Eildon hills arises out of its own name. 
It is thought that the name is descriptive of the loca- 
lity where the station was situated, i.e. Trirnontium : 
the station at the three hills. The Romans would, 
from their very first ascent of the Cheviot mountains, 
have their attention directed to the three peaks of 
the Eildons. The hills are very remarkable. They 
are not like many hills clustered together, but may 
be said to be three peculiar conical-looking moun- 
tains standing upon one base or pedestal. Even a na- 
tive of the district cannot help being struck with their 
singular aspect. They are unrivalled in look, as well as 
the district in which they stand is without a compeer 
for beauty and fertility.* We can easily imagine the 

* The tradition of the district has it, that the Eildon vas cleft in 
three by the spirit who attended on the magician, Michael Scott. By 
compact, Michael was bound to find the spirit in constant labour, 
which seems not to have been easily done. At the wizard's command 
the spirit carried the tide up the Tweed to Norham. Another night's 
work was the erection of the cauld at Kelso Mill, which still exists, 
as remarked by Sir Walter Scott, to do "honour to the infernal 
architect." The next feat was the splitting the cone of the Eildon 
into three peaks. Michael, however, got rid of his troublesome ser- 


Koman soldier standing on the crest of Wodenlaw, 
and pointing his finger to the three peaks of the 
Eildons rising in the distance. The engineers would 
be guided by the three cones in marking out the road 
northward. The weary pioneer would be encouraged 
in his task by a sight of the peaks. The harrassed 
soldier would be consoled in his passage through the 
forest, by the thought that he was gaining on the 
three hills. When a strange legion traversed the 
heights of the Cheviot, on their way north, they would 
be told to keep their eves on the three peaks. When 
the soldiers, in returning from their contests with the 
clans beyond the wall, ascended the steep sides of the 
Lammermoors, they would, on attaining the summit, 
exclaim, behold the Triuiontium : the station of the 
three hills. The Eildons, under the name of Trimon- 
tium, would act as a natural guide-post in the crossing 
of the deep forests on each side, in which the mighty 
urus, the equal of the elephant, the savage bison, 
and other wild animals ranged.* 

vant by commanding it to make ropes out of sea sand, which the spirit 
tried but could not accomplish. It is said that it begged hard to'have 
the sand mixed with chaff, but Michael was inexorable, and the spirit 
departed to the magician's great satisfaction. Melrose Abbey claims 
the wizard's last resting place ; and a broken slab covering a grave in 
the chancel is pointed out to pilgrims to that holy shrine as being the 
one lifted by William of Deloraine, (in sight of a monk,) when 
" Belore their eyes the Wizard lay, 
As if he had not been dead a day." 
• In Selkirkshire a skull of the urus was found, with a Roman 
gpear sticking in it. It is probable that the animal was killed in the 
chase by a Roman soldier, while occupying some of the adjacent 
camps or stations. It might be the Eildons. 


On this ground alone we do not feel at liberty to 
entertain any doubt that the station at Eildon hills 
is the Trimontium of the Itinerary. 

It is said by Chalmers that the site of the Trimon- 
tium must be looked for at Birrenswark-hill — that 
the name signifies a town on the mount, and that 
there was a British town on Birrenswark-hill. But 
this is clearly not sufficient to fix the site of the sta- 
tion at that place. It was not singular, at the period 
the Romans made their ways, and built their stations 
and forts, for a town to be on the top of a mount ; 
but, on the contrary, scarcely a hill was without a 
town or an assemblage of huts on its summit. It is 
not probable that the Romans would call their station 
by a name which applied equally to many other situa- 
tions. A town on a mount might in those days be 
found on the wayside of every iter; but three hills or 
mounts standing on one base, raised above the sur- 
rounding country, could only be found at Eildon. 
Then there is nothing remarkable in the appearance 
of Birrenswark-hill. It is a single hill, commanding, 
no doubt, an extensive prospect, but to which the 
appellation of Trimontium cannot in any view be 
made to apply. 

Having thus established that the Eildons are en- 
titled to the honour of the Trimontium station, we 
shall now retrace our steps to the banks of the Jed, 
in the hope of being able to show that the Gadanica 
of the Itinerary was situated at Bonjedworth. Very 
opposite opinions are held by writers as to the site of 
this station. Chalmers thinks that it is the Colania 


of Ptolemy, and the Colanica of Richard's Map, and 
ought to be placed on the ninth iter, on the north of 
Triinontium, which he fixes at Birrenswark-hill. 
Camden places Colania on the east coast, at the 
Cohidl urbs; Maitland thinks Oramond, on the Forth, 
is the locality of the station ; Stukely fixes the station 
in the shire of Peebles ; and General Roy thinks the 
Gadanica town was either Bonjedworth or Hawick. 
AV r e think Bonjedworth has the fairest claim to be 
ranked as the ancient Roman town Gadanica. Here 
also the name affords a considerable help to fix the 
locality. Bonjedworth is situated not only in the 
country of the people after whom the station is named, 
but on the banks of one of their principal rivers. It 
is the station in the Gadeni country, on the Gad, or 
Jed river. The people obtained the appellation of 
Gadeni from inhabiting the woody country, the river 
from flowing through the forest; and the station, we 
may conclude, got its name from being situated in the 
woods. Besides placing the station at this place, 
divides the road into equal distances for a day's march. 
Between Channelkirk, Eildon-hills, Bonjedworth, and 
(Jhewgreen, the distances nearly agree with the num- 
ber of miles which the legions usually marched in a 

Returning to the station at Newstead, where the 
Watling Street passed the river, and proceeded north- 
wards to the station at Chesterlee, secured by a 
double fosse and rampart: from this place it went 
north by the Waas, near Blainslie, and passed on by 
Chieldhelles Chapel and Blackchester, to the station 


at Channelkirk, situated on the southern skirts of the 

The next important way constructed by the Koman 
people within the district, is the Wheel Causeway, 
or the continuation of the Maiden Way. It leaves 
the Roman wall between the Solvvay and Tine, at the 
station of Birdoswald, a little to the west of the place 
where the wall crosses the Irthing river, and proceeds 
direct north, crossing the summit of the mountain 
ridge called Side-Fell, and descending into the vale 
of Bevvcastle, it passes that place to the east of the 
station. It ascends the rising ground on the north- 
side of the Kirkbeck, to Raestown. Between this place 
and the border, the line is not so easily traced, owing 
to parts of the way being covered with moss, and in 
other places the occupants of the grounds have car- 
ried away the stones to build fences. After crossing 
the White Lyne, it runs by the Grey Crag, keeping 
to the right of Christenbury Crags, to the camp at 
Cross. It then crosses the Beck and Black Lyne, near 
their junction, where there is a strong position. It 
then crosses the Skelton Pike, fords the Kersope 
river, and enters Scottish ground at Deadvvater, when 
it assumes the name of the Wheel Causeway. The 
appearance of the road between the wall and Bew- 
castle, is described as being above twenty-one feet 
broad, and made with sandstone. The stones are 
laid on their edges, and generally in the centre ; on 
the sides they are found lying flat. Where streams 
of water cross the path, they are carried below it, by 
means of culverts built on the sides, and covered with 


large flags. Tt presents the same features in this dis- 
trict, in places where it has not been destroyed by the 
farmers converting the stones, with which it is paved, 
into fences for sheep walks. We regret to be forced 
to state that, during the course through the farm of 
Hyndlee, the work of destruction has been so well 
done within these few years, as to render it difficult 
to find a trace of this remarkable work of anti- 
quity. Landlords and farmers do not seem to have 
the least compunctious feeling in thus dealing with 
the remains of a byegone age. In their eyes the 
best constructed Roman Causeway is not equal to 
an ordinary farm road; and the most sacred relic 
would, without hesitation, be thrust into the gap of 
a fauld dyke. The pity is that the farmers of this 
district are not singular ; the same grounds of com- 
plaint exist in every part of the island. The road, 
after entering this district, proceeds northward a 
little to the west of Myredykes, and passes one of the 
sources of the Liddel, at a place called Bagrawford, 
and then ascends to the summit of Needslaw. Near 
to where the road passes the Liddel, the Peel stands 
between that water and a rivulet which joins it close 
upon Bagrawford. A strong fort stood upon the 
peninsula formed by these two streams, and com- 
manding an extensive prospect. On the edge of the 
Causeway are the remains of a chapel called, after 
the road, the Wheel Church, with its accompanying 
graveyard.* The church has been of considerable ex- 

* The worthy Mr Arkle, the incumbent of the parish of Castleton, 
in 1793, in which parish the Wheel Church is situated, laments 

r 1 


tent, strongly built, and of excellent masonry. On 
gaining the summit of Needslaw — the table land which 
divides Liddesdale and Teviotdale — it bends away 
to the northward, a little to the west of Reavingburn, 
and makes for the eastern slope of Wolfhopelee. At 
this place it is made by Stobie's map, published in 
1770, to coalesce with a road which came over the 
Note of the Gate, and by the east of the Camphill ; 
thence to the west of Shankend, and about midway 
between Spar and Laverockhall, from thence by 
Saughburnhaugh to Macksideshiel, passing between 
Doorpool, and the Camp situated to the west of 
Southdean village, and onwards to Abbotrule. At 
the place where the modern way is made to meet the 
Wheel Causeway, the latter is pointing direct for the 
Spar ; and we thought we could discover traces of it 
descending the northern slopes of the hill at Mack- 
side, and making for Bonchester hill, on which the 
Romans had a post.* This hill seems to have been a 
British fort, and seized by the Romans, on account of 
its excellent position for a station, and as commanding 

the flocks of sheep superseding the people. " The Wheel Church 
has been pretty large ; many grave stones appear in the churchyard ; 
yet, when standing on this spot at this time, there are only three farm 
houses in view, taking in a circle of many miles." He also states 
that a Roman legion wintered in Liddesdale, cut down the wood, and 
drained the marshes. 

• The hill is named Bonchester on the maps, but in the dialect of 
the country it is pronounced Bunster or Bonster. It is probable that 
the last form of the name is the most proper, as Bon signifies what 
is lower, or the termination or end of any road or ridge, and ster 
is the Ancrlo-Saxon caester, a strength — i.e. Bonster : the lower 



other native strengths in the neighbourhood. The 
appearance of the place shows that there have 
been a cluster of camps with lines intersecting 
each other. This situation overlooks a great ex- 
tent of the adjacent country. It is merely conjec- 
ture that the road seen descending the heights at 
Mackside, forms a part of the Wheel Causeway, for 
although the course is seemingly in that direction, it 
may have proceeded towards Jedburgh. The road 
over the Note of the Gate, which meets with it at 
the western base of Wolfhopelee, continues on its 
way to Abbotrule, and in a direct line by Swinnie, 
ascends the heights of the Dunion above Jedburgh, 
as is shown in Stobie's old map. From the eastern 
shoulder of the Dunion, a track runs by the westside 
of the enclosures of Glenburnhall, across Lanton 
moor, eastward towards Ancrum bridge. On the 
east of this ridge at Monklaw, there are vestiges of a 
camp; and as it is in the immediate vicinity of the 
station, on the Watling Street, at the junction of the 
Jed with the Teviot, it is possible that it may have 
ended there. It is, however, important to keep in 
mind, that from the place where the Wheel Causeway 
coalesces with the road, over the Note of the Gate, 
to Jedburgh, a chain of camps and forts extend to 

strength, or the end of the line of .strengths. The writer of the 
account of the parish of Hopekirk states, that the estimation 
in which the situation " was held by the Romans, procured it 
the appellation of Bonchester : i.e. Bona Castra, or the good cantp;" 
but this view is very clearly erroneous ; indeed it is certain that Hie 
word " Chester*" is merely a softer way of pronouncing the Saxon 
" Ccester." 


the Tweed, by Bedrule, the heights of Rawflat, Beu- 
liehill, Blackchester, Rowchester, at Kippielaw Mains, 
Caldshiels, and Castlesteads. Then from the east of 
the place where the two roads meet, a chain of forts 
or strengths run eastward from Bonchesters, Chea- 
ters, Oamptown at Edgerston, and Ounzierton, in 
the neighbourhood of the Roman station at Street 
House. Now it seems clear that wavs of one kind 
or another have connected all these forts; but it 
must be admitted, that the Wheel Causeway is as 
yet lost to us after joining the Liddesdale road, as 
above mentioned. It may have gone straight north, 
crossing the Tweed at the Elwin water, and been the 
original of the Girthgate, or it may have taken a 
westerly direction, as several intimations, such as 
Gatehousecot — the house at the gate or way — might 
lead us to suppose, and ended at Ruberslaw. 

Another road, of the same character with the 
Wheel Causeway, is to be seen from the accompany- 
ing map, branching off from the Watling Street, 
shortly after it leaves the Roman wall. It crosses 
the Coquet at Brinkburn Priory, the Aln below 
Whittingham, and the Till near Fowberry, the Tweed 
at West Orde, and points to Mordington, where 
all trace's of it are lost. This road is named the 
Devil's Causeway, and is constructed like the Wheel, 
with large stones in the centre, and smaller ones at 
the sides. Its breadth is about 21 or 22 feet, and al- 
though there are no stationary camps on this road, 
there can be little doubt as to its antiquity. It must 
be classed as one of the earliest of the Roman ways, 


and by it in all probability the army of Agricola, 
which acted along with his fleets, marched to the 
Forth, in the campaign directed against the people 
to the north of that Frith. Tacitus clearly intimates 
that the ships explored the Forth, and that the 
army attended and acted in concert. Several anti- 
quaries think that they can discover traces of this 
road, on the south margins of the Forth by Mussel- 
burgh, and it is very probable that they are correct. 
A second branch was sent off by the Watling Street 
at the Bremcnium station, in a north easterly direc- 
tion.* From this place it passes the farm house of 
Shield, and proceeds onwards to Campville, passing 
the Coquet near Harbottle, after which it points for 
Castlehill, near Allnham, and is supposed to have 
joined the Devil's Causeway, where that road bends 
towards the Tweed. Both roads are constructed in 
the same manner, and both are without stations op 
their edges. 

On the western road there was also a branch went 
off from Langtown, by Netherby, to Liddel moat, 
•where it crossed the Liddel. Chalmers thinks, that 
this way ran along the eastside of the river Esk, to 
Castle Over, in Eskdalemoor, where there was a 
strong British strength, and converted into a Roman 

• This road was first noticed by Hodgson in his work on Northum- 
berland. It is also referred to by Bruce, while describing the station 
at Bremenium, in bis work on the Roman Wall, and its station, 
p. 300. Roy also delineates the Devil's Causeway, in the map of 
North Britain, in his Military Antiquities, plate I. Percj 's Cro»« 
stands on the edge of the Devil's Causeway, and Roy thinks that it is 
a Roman milestone. 


post, to command Eskdale. General Hoy conceived 
that a communication existed from the post on Esk- 
dale, along Tarras water, across the country to Ha- 
wick, and from thence by Hermiston, the neighbour- 
hood of Lilliesleaf, and straight onwards to Eildon 
hills. It is shown upon the map as a road not com- 
pleted, after the usual manner of the Roman ways. 
This road by Hawick, led to the idea of the Gadanica 
station being at that ancient town. It is obvious 
that this road would meet the Wheel Causeway, in 
the event of its progress being northward. By the 
Wheel Causeway, and the branch of the western 
road, Liddesdale would be completely commanded. 
On the summit of the Side hill, on the north side of 
the Liddel, opposite to Caerby hiil, there was a strong 
Roinan post. It is of a square form, of about 300 
feet, with earthen ramparts, about 18 feet high. 
This fort was evidently intended as a check upon 
the British strengths on Caerby and Tinnis hills. 
Near to the Clint-burn, which falls into the Liddel 
on the south, another Roman post of about 168 feet 
square, defended by strong earthen ramparts, was 
placed opposite to a British fort. 

There are also a number of other roads in the dis- 
trict which are said to be of Roman origin, but it is 
very doubtful whether they are entitled to be placed 
under that period. Roy refers to a map of Rox- 
burghshire, mentioning a Roman road which runs 
from Jedburgh, to the junction of the Tweed and 
Teviot, but we have not been able to lay our hands 
upon the work referred to. It is extremely probable 


that there was originally such a way, but there are 
at present no vestiges of it. Assuming that we are 
correct in placing the Gadanica station at Bonjed- 
worth, a road between it and the place where the 
ruins of Roxburgh stand, must have existed. Tt is 
thought that on the site of the Castle, a fortress of 
the Ottadini stood, which was afterwards convert- 
ed to a Roman post, for the purpose of bridling the 
British strengths in the neighbourhood. Were 
the ruins of the Castle explored, they might afford 
specimens of the genius of that great people. 
The likelihood of a Roman way having followed the 
track pointed out by the accurate Stobie, acquires 
additional strength from discoveries lately made at 
Jedburgh. A year or two ago attention was direct- 
ed to the lintel of the doorway to the northeast tur- 
ret stair of the Abbey ruin, and, on examination, 
it was found to contain an inscription believed to 
be Roman, which will bo found accurately engraved 
in the plate facing this page. The stone seems to 
occupy the position in which it has been placed on 
the restoration of the Abbey, by the saintly David 
during the twelfth century. It is thought by several 
who examined it, to be an altar dedicated " to 
Jupiter, the greatest and best of the gods.'" The 
stone itself has no resemblance to the altars com- 
monly erected to that deity. It rather appears to be 
a slab, which has occupied a place in some previous 
building, or to have stood with its lower end in the 
earth. Neither does it look as entire; but we were 
prevented from making a complete examination by 

RoxnurjGiisiiiR^. 255 

one end being fixed in the west gable, and the other 
end plastered up. But so far as we could observe, the 
end on which the inscription is, seems to have been 
broken. Where the lettering appears the surface is 
polished, and the other part rough. It measures 
nearly three feet in length, and about two feet in 
width, and nearly four inches in thickness. It is not 
unlike an ordinary tomb stone. The inscription seems 
as if wasted by the action of the weather; and this 
must have been done previous to its being placed in 
its present position, where it is safe from injury. 
There is a difficulty in reading the inscription ; but 
whatever its full import may be, there can be no 
difficulty in understanding this much, that it was 
erected by a person of the name of Severus, a Roman. 
There is also another stone in the eastern portion of 
the building, beautifully carved, said to belong to the 
same period, and to have formed part of a Roman 
sepulchre. It is strange that these stones should be 
found in this place. Where have they been brought 
from ? Have they been taken from the buildings of 
Bonjedworth ? or do these ruins stand upon the site 
of a pagan temple ? Questions easily asked, but hard 
to answer. It was customary in those early days to 
raise the temples for the worship of the true God 
on the ruins of those which had been dedicated to the 
heathen deities. Several of the arches at the east 
end of the ruin bear a striking likeness to the Roman 
arches at the Cilurnum station. But be this as it 
may, the appearance of these stones plainly prove 
that Roman buildings existed here, and rendering it 


probable that communications with the western part 
of the district existed at that day. 

On the eastern banks of the Rule, and also where 
the Dunion slopes northward, there were British 
strengths, and with the view of overawing these, the 
Romans placed a camp surrounded by ramparts of 
earth and a ditch. On each side of the Jed, camps 
are found in similar positions. It is thought that the 
strong position occupied by Douglas, at Lintalee, 
while he was engaged in repelling the English, had 
been used at an earlier period by the British and 
lloman people. 

A number of these cross roads are as ancient as 
the days of the Roman period. We have it on good 
authority that, in the days of Agricola, the Britons 
were forced to make tedious journeys through difficult 
cross country roads, in order to supply camps and sta- 
tions at a remote distance with corn.* We can thus 

• Tacitus' Lite of Agricola, Sec. 20. — Each province paid to 
the Romans a tribute of corn, winch in general was paid in kind. In 
those provinces, which had voluntarily submitted to the dominion of 
Rome, the fanner delivered the tenth part of his crop. This was 
what was called in modern phrase tythe corn. Secondly, — In the 
conquered provinces, such as Britain, the Romans exacted a gross 
quantity, fixing a bushel at the stated rate. This was called fru- 
mention siipendiarium. Thirdly,— Besides these two modes of col- 
lecting, it was further expected that the inhabitants of the several 
provinces should furnish, at a settled price, whatever was required 
for the use of the government : this was called purchased corn, fru~ 
mentum emptum. Fourthly, — The provinces were further charged 
with a supply for the use of the proconsul or governor, but the 
price was arbitrary, at the will and pleasure of the governor himself. 
This was not always paid in kind. A composition was made hi money, 



J.GELUT'Jf EOlli". 

J2a2> fi>77nv?y a &hte?, 
&«.iu7Te£ stair afSedfaryA Miey . 


see why a number of unpaved roads run in all direc- 
tions across the country. On these the poor British 
farmer conveyed the produce of his farm to the sta- 
tion appointed by the Roman collector. Although 
not made by the hands of the Roman soldier, these 
roads are only a little younger than the Watling 
Street, and the other military ways which run from 
one end of the island to the other. Wherever an 
important station existed on the line of those ways, 
the unpaved roads are found pointing in that direc- 
tion. The farms which supplied the Roman stations 
became in after years the granges of the monks, and 

and this was called corn at a valuation, frumentum cestimatum. 
Some of the provinces belonged immediately to the emperor, others 
were considered as the property of the state, and were therefore left 
to the management of the senate. In the imperial province the tri- 
bute was paid to the fiscus or the exchequer of the emperor ; in the 
senatorian provinces the levies belonged to the public, and were car- 
ried into cerarium, the treasury of the senate. In the various ways of 
collecting the several imposts gross abuses were often practised. As 
soon as the farmer carried in his crop, the revenue officers locked up 
his granary, and till the tribute was discharged, allowed him no access 
to his own stock. He wished to have the business finally adjusted, 
but the collector was not at leisure. The farmer languished at the 
door of his barn, pining for the use of his property ; but that liberty 
was not granted till with money, or an additional quantity of corn, 
he was obliged to bribe the officer, in order to get the account settled. 
In this manner he bought his own, and was afterwards compelled, at 
the requisition of the governor, to sell it at an inferior price. There 
was still another grievance ; the farmer, who lived at a distance from 
the quarters of the legions, was ordered to bring in his corn for the 
use of the army, and to deliver it on the spot assigned. The length 
of the way and the expense of the conveyance, obliged the natives to 
compound with the officers, who had the iniquity to enrich them- 
selves by this mode of plunder. 


the roads along which the oppressed Britons groaned 
under their burden, were used by the tenants and vas- 
sals of the various monasteries. 

Wherever native strengths existed in any force, 
camps of the Roman people are to be found. In the 
eastern part of the district, they had a camp on Yet- 
holmlaw, which commanded the forts of Castlelaw and 
Halterburn. On the top of Hounamlaw, a little to 
the east of the pass in the mountains through which 
the Watling Street runs, the Romans had a camp. 
This place seems also to have been a hill fort of the 
early people, and to have been resorted to as a means 
of defence in subsequent times. Almost every sum- 
mit in the neighbourhood appear to have been occu- 
pied in a similar manner. Within the entrenchments 
of Hounamlaw, a large iron gate was found about the 
end of last century, and is said to be in the possession 
of the Duke of Roxburgh. On the heights of the Jed, 
a Roman post commanded the British strengths in 
that locality. In the upper portions of the Teviot 
and Borthwick, the quadrangular camp of the Ro- 
mans is found, in view of, and keeping in check the 
circular hill forts of the British people. The district 
was thus encircled with Roman posts, and in the 
centre of it, a chain of camps ran from the Cheviot 
range to the Tweed. 

On the course of the military ways above described, 
and at various posts throughout the district, a num- 
ber of articles and coins dropt by the Romans have 
been picked up. Near to where the Watling Street 
passed the Oxnam water, a head-piece of plate-iron 


was found.* At a place called Stotfield, a camp 
kettle was discovered, which is in the possession of 
Mr Wight, Oxnam Manse.f A medal of the em- 
press Faustina, about the size of half-a-crown, with 
the inscription distinct, was taken out of the heart of 
a peat dug out of Mosstower moss, f About thirty years 
since, a camp kettle was found at Edgerston, on the 
Jed, and presented to Sir Walter Scott. § Near South- 
dean, part of a Roman standard was discovered seve- 
ral years ago. An antique bronze jug, supposed to be 
Roman, was found at Raesknow, and is now in the 
possession of Mr Grieve, Branxholmbraes. It has a 
handle and spout, and stands on three feet. The 
minister of Hawick thinks it is a sacrificial vessel. || 
At the station at Newstead, a great number of coins 
have been discovered ; two coins of the Consular 
denarii ; a denarius of Marcus Antoninus ; second 
brass of the Emperor Augustus ; an aureus of Nero ; 
two denarii of Vespasian ; an aureus of Titus, found 
in 1792; a denarius of Domitian ; an aureus dena- 
rius, and second brass of Trajan ; seven denarii, and 
a second brass of Hadrian ; a denarius of Faustina 
the Elder, Queen of Antoninus Pius ; a brass of Vic- 
torinus ; a third brass of Carausius ; brasses of Gale- 
rius Maximinius, Constantinus Maximus, and of 

• Old Statistical Account of Oxnam parish, vol. iii., p. 331. 

f New Statistical Account of the parish of Oxnam. 

% Old Statistical Account, vol. viii., p. 34. 

§ New Statistical Account of the parish of Jedburgh. 

|| New Statistical Account of the parish of Hawick. 


Constantinus Augustus, have also been got at the 
same place.* 

The only other remain which we think entitled to 
notice here, is a building which formerly stood on a 
curve of the Ale, at the east end of the town of An- 
orum, and popularly called the Malton Walls. The 
land here is formed into a beautiful peninsula by the 
Ale and the Teviot. From the bend of the river the 
ground rises gradually westward, forming a ridge 
which slopes on the south to the Teviot, and on the 
north to the Ale. The plough has now passed over 
the whole of the building, but the form of it can sti-ll 
be traced. It is described by Dr Somerville — who 
wrote the account of Ancrum in 1 794 — " as being 
strongly built of stone and lime, in the figure of a 
parallelogram, and ascending on one side from the 
plain adjacent to the river, were considerably higher 
than the summit of the hill which they enclose, but are 
now levelled with its surface, and a small part of them 
remain. Vaults or subterraneous arches have been 
discovered in the neighbouring ground ; and under- 
neath the area, enclosed by the building, human bones 
are still found by persons ploughing or digging in the 
plain at the side of the river, which is an evidence of its 
having been formerly occupied as a burying grounds-f- 
it is said that this building was the property of the 
Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who had consider- 

• Proceedings of the Antiquaries of Scotland, p. 36, et seq. 
t Old Slalistical Account of the parish of Ancrum, by Dr Somer- 
ville of Jedburgh, p. 294. 


able property in the district, and that Malton is a 
corruption of Malta. It may be that this building 
was at one time the property of the Hospitallers, but 
that does not fix the antiquity of the building. The 
same thing was said of Iled-abbey-stead, and yet we 
have seen that recent explorations have incontestably 
proved that it was originally a Roman town. This 
building may be of the same kind. The Watling 
Street passes within a very short distance to the east, 
and an old track from the southwest must have run 
in its immediate vicinity. Besides the heights on the 
opposite bank of the river were crowded with British 
strengths. On the east, the strong fort of Penielheugh 
overlooked the Watling Street, and on the neigh- 
bouring summits similar strengths existed. Its form 
and masonry resembled that of the Romans ; but 
whether belonging to the Roman period or not, it ia 
impossible at present to determine. Perhaps some 
spirited proprietor may arise who will explore its 
vaults, and lay open their treasures to the public. 

Before closing our brief notices of this period, it may 
be remarked that the Romans are believed to have 
entered this district by the eastern, and not the wes- 
tern route. This view is supported by the observa- 
tion of Tacitus, that, in the expedition northward, 
the fleet formed a part of the forces, and explored the 
rivers and estuaries. A competent authority on this 
subject says, " it seems probable that Agricola would 
advance farthest with his right, take possession of 
the lowest part of the country first, where he could 
best supply his army, and meet with least oppo- 


siti >n from the enemy. Having explored the low lands 
along the Tweed, and penetrated as far as Channel- 
kirk or Soutra, he would from thence discover the 
Lothians, and the Frith of Forth running far into the 
land ; he would see the low country of Fife beyond 
the Forth ; and even descry the still more distant 
Grampian mountains, long before he could have any 
notion that there was such an inlet from the west sea 
as the Frith of Clyde/ 1 * 

We have only further to add, that there are good 
reasons for believing that Christianity was introduced 
into this land during the first century of the Roman 
occupation, by Aristobulus, or Eubulus, who is 
thought to be the person mentioned by St. Paul in 
2 Timothy, iv. 21, " Do thy diligence to come before 
winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and 
Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.'" The 
Romans may have oppressed the Britons, " plundered 
the island of its gold and silver, and took from it 
its satin and silk, and its vessels of gold and silver "•f' 
but our forefathers were more than repaid, when, by 
means of these conquerors, Christianity was brought 
to the land. 

Soon after the Christian era, several Gothic tribes 
were seen on the shores of the Baltic. They belonged 
to a race which formed one of the original nations of 
Europe. When Darius crossed the Hellespont in 
pursuit of the European Scythians, he found the 

• Roy's Military Antiquities, p. 80. 

f Britannic Researches, by Beale Posl2, 1853. 


Goths inhabiting the eastern shores of the Euxine, on 
the south side of the Danube. During the days of 
Alexander they still occupied the same territory. 
About the middle of the fourth century the Goths 
invaded the Roman boundaries. They were defeated 
by Theodosius ; yet it is singular that they were one 
of the causes which forced the 11 j mans to leave Bri- 

In the course of the next century, the Saxons 
reached the Tweed, and overran the territory of the 
Romanized Ottadini, which lay, as before-noticed, to 
the north of the Tweed, and comprehended all Ber- 
wickshire, and the Lothians to the Forth, as well as 
the east part of Teviotdale. As these new people 
gained a footing farther south, they pressed from the 
east on the Gadeni, who inhabited the western parts 
of the district ; and, after a severe struggle, the two 
tribes fell back upon the strong parts of their coun- 
try, drawing the fences we have already described be- 
tween them and the Saxons. After the battle of 
the Cattraeth, they joined the other three tribes, and 
the remainder of their territory was erected into a 
kingdom, under the name of Cambria, with the capi- 
tal town at Dumbarton. On the east, they were pro- 
tected by the strong nature of the country, and the 
ramparts already alluded to. On the south, a ditch 
or earthen rampart ran from the Peelfell, southward 
to the station of Borcovicus, on the Roman Wall. It 
is about ten feet wide and five feet deep, with the 
earth thrown to the east side. It is popularly known 
as the Black Dyke; and in the maps of Morthumber- 


land it is found under the name of the Scots Dyke* 
It was observed by Bruce* while examining the wall 
at Busy Gap, who remarks, that " the only con- 
jecture hazarded respecting the origin is, that it 
formed the line of demarcation between the kingdoms 
of Northumberland and Cumbria, and certainly the 
course pursued by the Black Dyke, is nearly similar 
to the boundary assigned to those regions by the 
most authentic maps of Saxon England. The anti- 
quity of the cutting maybe inferred from the circum- 
stances, that for some distances it forms the division 
between the parishes of Haltwhistle and Warden, and 
that it passes through bogs, which probably owe 
their origin to the devastations committed in the 
north of England, by William the Norman. 11 -^ It is 
remarkable that this rampart is of the same kind as 
Herriot's Dyke, which runs from Berwick to the 
strong country, between the Leader and Gala, and 
points to a junction with the end of the Catrail run* 
ning by Cathie. We have no doubt that Herri ot's 
Dyke, and the Black Dyke, were made at the same- 
time, and by the same people who constructed the 
Catrail, with the view of protecting their Cumbrian 
territory from the invading Saxon 4 

• Kitchen's map of Northumberland, 

t Bruce on the Roman wall, p. 177. 

J Chalmers, while treating of the Catrail in Caledonia, vol. ], page 
240, says in a note, that he had received a letter from Dr. Dougla*, 
the minister of Galashiels, in which the Doctor stated, that " when 
at Gilsland in 1789, I thought I could perceive traces of the Catrail 
leaving the Roman wall, about five or six miles to the west of this 
place, at a station upon the wall." Mr Chalmers remarks, that " thid 


Though the Britons opposed the progress of the 
Saxons with the utmost bravery, the latter succeeded, 
in the course of 100 years, in gaining possession of 
the land lying along the coast from the Humber to 
the Forth. Aidan, the Scoto-Irish king, joined the 
Cumbrians, and the Saxons sustained several defeats 
till 603, when the battle of Dawstone decided the fate 
of that kingdom.* In the course of the next 50 years 

could not be the Maidenway, which Dr. Douglas thus saw ; for the 
Maidenway leaves the wall a considerable distance eastward of 
Gillsland, and proceeds northward along the eastern extremity of 
Cumberland, to the top of Kersope, which separates Liddesdale 
and Cumberland." We suspect that it had been the Maidenway, 
that Dr. Douglas saw, as it passes from the wall northward, nearly 
ten miles to the west of that place. Gordon is also clearly wrong, 
when he states that he saw a distinct track of the Catrail running 
towards Canoby, on the river Esk. 

• Considerable uncertainty prevails as to the exact place where this 
battle was fought. For the site of the battle, Chalmers, in his Cale- 
donia, refers to the map of Roxburghshire. On the map it is laid 
down near the sources of the Lid, and consists of a ridge or rig of 
land running from the valley of Lid to the northern summits of the 
hills which divide Teviotdale and Liddesdale. On the west side is 
Dawstoneburn, Which flows into the Lid about Saughtree, and on the 
east the Liddel. This place is, however, thought not to be the scene 
(A the conflict ; but that the battle field must be looked for on the 
farm of Florida, On the estate of Dinlabjre, about a quarter of a mile 
up the west side of Harden-burn, from the turnpike road running up 
the valley of Liddel. This place is also called the Dawstones or 
Daegstons, and there formerlj existed houses on the spot bearing the 
same name. The name may be derived from Daegston, i. e. Dag- 
ston. The word day is pronounced deh, dak, or dawe, in Cumber- 
land and Westmoreland at the present day. It may mean the stones 
lying above the ground, or portions of bare rock. This meaning an- 
swers to the description of the Dawstones, where there are large 
boulders, and in the immediate neighbourhood, and along the face of 



they extended their conquest from the east to the 
western seas. Their arms were then turned against 
the Picts, passed the Forth and Tay, and penetrated 
into Angus ; but they were totally defeated in the 
summer of 685, and nearly their whole army perished. 
The Cumbrians regained their ancient territory, and 
the Northumbrians were driven south of the Tweed. 
The Saxons, however, remained masters of Lothian, 
with the Forth as their boundary on the north, and 
the Tweed on the south. They were occasionally 
molested by the Picts, who, in 710, advanced as far 
as Adrian's Wall,but were driven back by the Saxons, 
and their king slain. After the union of the Scots 
and Picts, the Saxons were disturbed in their posses- 
sions by Kenneth, who burned Dunbar, and ravaged 
the religious house of Melrose. They, however, 
maintained their separate jurisdiction till 1020, when 
it was conveyed to Malcolm II. by Eadulf Cudei, an 

the fell, to the eastward, the bare rock juts out in many places. The 
Dawstones we are now speaking of, was always held by the country 
people as a place of evil repute, and a noted haunt of the fairies, who 
;ire said to have held their meetings on some green knolls at the spot. 
It is probable that these mounds or tumuli contained the ashes of the 
brave who fell in the battle. It is a wild and romantic spot. 
The intelligent Mr James Teller, of Saughtree, informs us that the 
>tone-clykers in that locality, at the present day, call the stones lying 
open on the moors, or the bare rocks, ** Daystones," The word 
dag is also used to express a day's labour. Cottagers were often 
bound, about forty years ago, to a dag at the moss, as a part of their 
rent. This Dawstone is also contiguous to the Wheel Causeway or 
Maiden- Way, and along which, there can be little doubt, the Nor- 
thumbrian Saxons marched upon the joint forces of the Cumbrian 
and Scoto-Irish. 


earl of Northumberland, and since that time has 
formed a part of the Scottish kingdom. Up to that 
date Scotland was confined to the nortli of the Forth. 

Previous to this period the ancient kingdom of 
Cumbria had become a part of Scotland, and its 
people that remained mingled with the Scots and 
Picts. In 945, Edmund, the English king, trans- 
ferred Cumberland, which lay to the south of Cum- 
bria, to Malcolm the First of Scotland, on condition 
of amity, and aid in time of need. This territory 
continued to be governed by the eldest son of the 
king of Scotland, till William the Conqueror overran 
Cumberland, and joined it to the English crown. It 
was granted by that king to one of his followers, 
Ranulph Meschines, on military tenure, and he again 
parcelled it out amongst his followers or vassals, to 
be held from him by the like tenure. It was after- 
wards acquired by David of Scotland, from the Eng- 
lish Stephen. At that time it was peopled by British, 
Saxons, Normans, and Galloway-Irish.* 

The first Saxon colonists imposed names on many 
places in the Merse, Selkirkshire, and in Teviot- 

• The Saxon Chronicle bears that " in 1092, king William, with tt 
great army, went into the north, restored Carlisle, and built the cas- 
tle. Returning info the south, the king sent a great multitude of 
English, with their wives and flocks, to inhabit and cultivate that 
northern land," As stated in the text, the ancient Britons of Cum- 
bria, who did not emigrate into Wales, had been previously mixed 
with the Picts and Scots, and their country annexed to Scotland by 
Kenneth III. The northern boundary of Scotland was the Solway, 
Esk, and Kersope, and between it and England lay the Cumbrian 
territory. Cumberland, which William the Conqueror conferred on 
his follower Meschines, lay to the south of the above boundary. 


dale, — they are said to have erected the two Jed^ 
worths, and Old Melrose ; but there is considerable 
difficulty in understanding which towns the Chroni- 
clers mean, when they say, " the two Gedworths" as 
there were at a very early period three towns bearing 
that name on the Jed. It is probable that a town 
existed on the river previous to the period, when two 
towns are said to have been erected by the Saxon 
bishop of Lindisfern, but we shall refrain from enter- 
ing further into this enquiry, till wo come to treat of 
the towns in a subsequent chapter. It is certain, 
however, that the name of Jed worth is partly Saxon; 
*' Weorth? signifies a village or town, which, added to 
the British " Jed? means the town or village on the 
river Jed. Jedburg is also a compound of the two 
languages, M burg? signifying a fortified town on the 
Jed. The " burg" may have been imposed at a 
later period, when one of the " Weorths* came to be 
defended by a castle, or what is more likely, the pre- 
sent Jedbiwg may have been a different place from 
the two " Weorths? Kelso is formed of the two lan- 
guages ; the Saxon how, added to the British calc : 
Calchow. from which the name of Kelso is derived. 
Tfce present name of the county is also Saxon, and 
probably imposed during Norman times.* Hawick is 
also thought to be Saxon. Chalmers thinks that it 
is derived from Haic, a mansion, and " wic? a town, 
or rather the curving reach of a river, where ham- 
lets were formerly built.-f* But this seems rather 

* Teviotdale was the name of the district, 
f Caledonia, vol. 11, p. 17.5. 


strained, and we are inclined to derive it from the 
Saxon how, a hollow in the hills, and " wic" a town, 
i. e. a village situated in a hollow of the hills, or it may 
be from the Scandinavian "How" as applied to a 
height, or hills, and wic, a town, or village, mean- 
ing, the village situated at the heights, or hills, 
Howick. Both are descriptive of the situation of the 
town of Hawick. It is situated in a hollow of the 
hills, and it is a town at the heights, or hills ; but it is 
thought that the Saxon derivation is the best. Chal- 
mers" view does not suit the locality, besides if, as he 
thinks, Ha is a contraction of Hall, then the name 
would read the town or village situated at the water 
springs. Ga\nshiels is formed by the Saxons, adding 
" sceele," or scheal, to the British name of the river. 
The scheeles, or scheals, afterwards written shiels, were 
applied to describe mountain pasture, with the huts 
of the herdsmen. It was the practise in those early 
days, for the inhabitants of the inland parts of the 
country to send their flocks and herds, during the 
summer months, to pasture on the mountains, or 
moors, each having their own sceele, or track, or divi- 
sion of land, with the huts thereon. The shiels on 
the Gala, belonged to the abbey of Melrose, and were 
erected by the herds, while the flocks of swine pas- 
tured in the forest between the Leader and Gala. 
The swineherds of the abbey of Melrose, had many 
disputes as to their scheelings in this place, particu- 
larly with the men of the bishop of St. Andrews, 
who, at that period, lived at Stow. Caldshiels, on 
the opposite side of the Tweed, is wholly Saxon ; 


cald, is from ceald, the Saxon word for cold ; Ceald- 
shiels, or Coldshiels, meaning the exposed scheelings. 
To those acquainted with the locality it is unneces- 
sary to say that the name applies, and truly describes 
the nature of the place. The situation is exposed, 
and the huts of the herdsmen would afford little shel- 
ter from the cold northern blasts. Lilliesleaf, anciently 
written Liliescliff, is supposed by several authorities 
to be derived from the name of a person " Lilie" 
and the Saxon, " cliff," denoting a steep place, or 
the ascent of a hill. But we doubt if this view be cor- 
rect, and would rather think that the first part of the 
word is derived from the British " Llysau" signifying 
pasturage, or herbage, and " cliff" steep clints, or as- 
cents, a meaning exactly suiting the description of 
this place ; the country around being full of clinty 
knolls, or cliffs. The Saxon term for pasturage, is 
" leswes." Near to the village is Liliesyhates, situat- 
ed at the steep ascent of a cliff, on the old way, 
which ran through the wild tract of country between 
Hawick and Lilliesleaf. Now the meaning of this 
name is, if our view be correct, just the gate or road 
to the pasturage. Middleham, the middle hamlet ; 
AsMir/c, is derived from the Saxon aese, and cyrc;. the 
kirk at the Ashwood, or, as still pronounced, Aese- 
wood ; Holydean, from halig — holy, and dene a val- 
ley ; DemwicJc, means the village at the uncultivated 
land ; Gatinside, from the Saxon, "gate? a road, 
and is descriptive of the situation of the village on 
the side of the Watling Street, or Roman way ; 
Aferton, the town at the marsh, or lake : MJerse, des- 


cribes a fenny track of country. Maxton is thought 
to mean the dwelling of a person of the name of 
Maccus, who there settled at an early period, and 
who appears to have witnessed the subscription of 
several charters granted by David, while he was an 
earl. In like manner, Macarstoun is the dwelling, or 
tun of Maccar. Moorliouselaio is wholly Saxon, 
and signifies the house situated in the moor, at the 
law or hill ; Moorhouselaw. Faimeyton, anciently 
written Ferneydun, is the FernhUl, or rather the 
tun or dwelling at the Ferneyhill. EcJcford, from the 
"Ac," for oak, and is descriptive of the place where 
the river is passed ; the ford at the " Ecs," or oaks. 
Nesbet is from the Saxon " nese," a nose and " bit" 
a piece ; Nesbet, the nose piece. The hill here is 
named " Peniel," signifying, in the language of the 
Britons, the head or face, and the Saxons who suc- 
ceeded them, particularised this place, as the nose- 
piece of the hill, which resembles the face. Merebotle 
is purely a Saxon name, signifying the village on 
the lake. Clifton, in the same locality, is the dwel- 
ling at the steep hill. The Tofts means a town, or 
any enclosed place or fields. Yetholm is the " ham" 
or village at the " yet, or " gate," meaning the dwel- 
lings at the roadside. HopeJcirh is derived from 
" hope" a small valley among hills, and cyrc, a kirk. 
Denholm is the dwelling at the dene or valley. Chester 
is from the Saxon Csester, and which was applied by 
them to the British fortlets, called Caers. Bonchester 
is made up of the British Ion, or boon, and the Saxon 
Chester, or Cwster. Shaw, meaning a wood, is very 


common, as the name of places, there being above 
twenty situations bearing that name in the county of 
Roxburgh alone. Law is also found occurring about 
fifty times in the names of hills, and the word Lee, 
the Saxon " leag" nearly thirty-two times applied to 
fields, and holm is used seventeen times to denote a 
meadow. There are nineteen " shiels,^ the ancient 
** scheeUnys" 1 in the county, and twenty-five valleys 
bear the appellation of hope. Edgers-ton is the tun 
or dwelling of Edgar, who loved the banks of the Jed. 
Rig is found in the names of onsteads, and also as 
describing ridges of land. Scraesburg is formed 
from the British corse, and the Saxon burg, and sig- 
nifying the fortified town at the cors or marshland. 
Dene is used to describe a number of beautiful deans or 
little vales. Grass from the Saxon, gres ; fallow from 
falewe, signifying pale red, gives a name to the fal- 
lowfield. Land laid up in reserve, the Saxons called 
haining : Haining is the name of a beautifully situat- 
ed mansion near Selkirk. They also called a large 
amount of any thing a " whang;" an extensive tract 
of land ; and a rood, they named a " stang" A hus- 
band man " greve ;" Jcimmer, a guest, and still used; 
a sewer they called gutter. Hedge is derived from 
" ha?g" and a way or road from " wieg" Crinkle, a 
turn or bend, is to be found on the farm of Clerk- 
lands, near Riddel. Dryburgh seems to be from the 
Saxon " drigge" for dry, and " burg," a town. Old 
is derived from aid or eald. A brook is from u broc." 
Cottage is from " cot" Eve from " efse" an edge. 
Grave is from "grcef" sometimes pronounced "graft" 


Lade, a channel, mill-leade, or lade ; mill from the 
Saxon, " mylenP Mouth from " muth? Love from 
" leof," and dear from "deor" For the following 
words, we are also indebted to the same people: hill, 
moor, myre, moss, burn, water, stane, haugh, land, 
yard, dyke, hay, brig, broom, booth, seat, and a great 
number of other words, which our limits will not per- 
mit us to notice further. We shall now give a speci- 
men of the Saxon language, as written in the ninth 
century. " On Herodas, dagum Judea, cynineges 
waes sum, sacered on naman Zeicharies ; of Abian 
tune and his vif, waes of Aarones dohtrum ; and 
hyre nama was Elizabeth.*" Which was translated 
in the end of the fourteenth century. " In the days 
of Eroude, Kyng of Judea ; there was a prest Za- 
charye by name ; of the sort of Abia ; and his wyf, 
was of the doughters of Aaron ; and her name was 
Elizabeth.' 1 Such then was the language spoken by 
the people who came in upon the Romanized Gadeni, 
and who held possession of the district till it was 
annexed to the crown of Scotland. 

While this language was spoken in this dis- 
trict, and in the Merse, the Irish and Gaelic were 
alone spoken, down to the period of the union 
of the Scots and Saxons — throughout Scotland, 
which was, as formerly stated, situated beyond the 
Frith. As a proof of this, it may be mentioned, that 
when the virtuous Margaret became the wife of the 
Scottish Malcolm, she did not understand the speech 
of her husband's subjects, and he had to act as an in- 
terpeter ■between them. From that time, however, 


a mixture of the Saxon and Scots came to be spoken, 
which gradually superseded the native tongue, espe- 
cially in the low countries. At this period many 
Saxons fled from England, and took shelter in Scot- 
land, where they were kindly welcomed by Malcolm 
and his Queen. Ere long the fugitives were found in 
every district'of the land. At the death of Malcolm 
the native people arose, and drove away the strangers; 
and at Margaret's death, her attendants, who had 
come from England, were forced to leave by the 
Celtic people. But a change soon took place. Shortly 
after the conquest of England by the Normans, the 
Saxons, and also many Normans of eminence, migrat- 
ed to Scotland. This migration was greatly increas- 
ed when David, the youngest son of Malcolm and 
Margaret, ascended the throne. He had been edu- 
cated in England; and on his return to his native soil 
he was accompanied by many men from that king- 
dom. The greater part of these he settled in this 
district, which had been left to him by his brother's 
will, and which Alexander, his elder brother, did not 
challenge on his brother Edgar's death. There was also 
another race of people — the Flemings — who migrated 
hither, and who perhaps contributed more than any 
others to make the people of Scotland what they are 
at the present day.* 

The Saxons were Pagans, but they had no Druids 
to preside in their religious affairs; and it is believed 
that the early colonists, of whom we have been speak- 

* The colonization will be found treated in a subsequent part of 
the work. 


ing, worshipped only the sun, moon, and fire. They 
acknowledged no gods unless those from whom they 
derived a benefit. They were brave, courageous, and 
faithful when once they had pledged their word. Any 
one who broke his faith was deemed a traitor, and 
was punished as such. They were great followers of 
the chase ; but said to have been intemperate in 
mating and drinking. During the British period the 
waters were held sacred, and fish was not killed or 
eaten. On the arrival of the Saxons, they ransacked 
the hitherto protected rivers and streams, and robbed 
them of their finny tribes, to the great horror of the 
Oelt, who conferred on them the appellation of fish" 
eaters as a term of reproach. Like the Celtic people, 
the early Saxons had neither learned the utility of 
dividing labour, nor acquired the faculty of varying 
its productions. Each family had its own craftsmen, 
who confined their work to their own family require- 
ments. But, after the introduction of Christianity, the 
clergy turned their attention to the instruction of the 
people in the useful arts. In the monasteries were 
monks skilled as smiths, carpenters, architects, mil- 
lers, agriculturists, and fishermen. In many grants 
by pious persons to these monasteries, we find con- 
veyed the smith, carpenter, fisherman, and miller. As 
time advanced men are to be found in the richer mo- 
nasteries who could work in all the metals, and make 
bells for the churches.* At the end of the eighth 

• By a law of Edgar every priest was commanded to learn some 
handicraft to increase knowledge. The priests were also forbidden to 
drink at the " winetuits." We may infer that hostelries existed. 


century glass-making was introduced from France, 
and the Saxons were taught the art of making glass 
for windows, lamps, and drinking glasses. In the 
days of Edward the Elder, the women of the Saxons 
exercised the needle and distaff, and it is said that 
they excelled in gold embroidering.* During the 
ninth and tenth centuries there were also to be found 
dyers of wool in this district. 

Many coins of these people have, no doubt, been 
found in the district, but owing to the discretion ge- 
nerally observed by coin finders, our information on 
the subject is very limited. In Jedburgh and its 
neighbourhood a considerable number of these relics 
of the early Saxons have been found. The most of 
these coins have been picked up in the bed of the 
river, and occasionally the boys, while amusing them- 
selves on the margins of the stream, still light now 
and then upon a coin of this period. It is thought 
that the coins found in the channel of the stream have 
been brought from a portion of ground between the 
water and Jedburgh, which was originally a part 
of the grave yard to the monastery. About 30 years 
ago the road leading from the Market-place of Jed- 
burgh, by Abbey-place to the river, was widened and 
levelled. While carrying out these improvements the 
earth and rubbish were carted from the cutting and 
deposited at the river side. Amongst this earth and 
rubbish it is supposed the coins were, and that each 
flood, when it carried away a portion of the mound, 

• Bede, who died during the eighth century, alludes to the jewellers 
find goldsmiths in his day. 


scattered the coins in the channel. The coins found 
consisted, for the most part, of copper styca, and the 
silver skeatta of the Heptarchic period. Recently 
there was picked up in the river a silver penny of 
Athelstan, one of the kings of Northumbria, in a good 
state of preservation. About 1827, while a person 
was engaged ploughing in a field on the estate of 
Hartrigge, lying along the south side of Bongate 
turnpike, he turned up a bag containing nearly 100 
silver coins of the same period, and of various reigns. 
A number of these belonged to Egbert, Ethelrid, and 
Athelstan. In the bag were also coins of Canute. 
In a garden of Bongate, which, previous to the 
new Edinburgh turnpike being constructed, formed 
a part of the above-mentioned field, a horn is said to 
have been dug up containing a number of coins, but 
it is not known whether they belonged to the Hep- 
tarchic period or to subsequent times. Along with 
the coins found in the bag, there was a ring formed 
of silver wire, twined. 

During the seventh century the district was placed 
under the superintendence of the Bishop of Lindes- 
farne, and religious houses were established shortly 
thereafter at Old Melrose and Jed worth. These 
Houses or Abbeys fall next to be noticed here as a 
class of antiquities; and as they are connected with 
the Saxon and Norman periods we shall confine our 
observations to the buildings as Memorials of an early 
age, leaving the history of these houses and their in- 
habitants to be given along with the ecclesiastical 
notices of the district. 


The Abbey of Jedburgh stands in a lovely situa- 
tion on the south side of the burgh, and on the left bank 
of the river Jed. The south front overlooks a small 
but fertile vale, formed by the eccentricities of the 
river, bounded on the right by a picturesque bank 
clothed with trees; on the left by swelling eminences; 
while in front the eye is confined by the banks on 
each side of the river, forming a kind of natural vista 
through which the Cheviot range of mountains appear 
in distant perspective. The exact period of the first 
foundation of this house has not been ascertained with 
any degree of certainty. J3y many it is said to have 
been founded by David I. in 1147, but it is clear, from 
charters and history, that a religious house existed at 
Jedburgh 300 years before that date. We are in- 
formed, on undoubted authority, that Bishop Ecgred 
or Egfred, of Lindisfarne, was the proprietor of Jed- 
burgh, and which he bestowed upon the see of which 
he was a bishop. The time of the gift is not stated, 
but as it was during his reign the period can be very 
nearly fixed ; Egfred succeeded Heathered in 829, and 
died in the year 838, having presided over the- see 
about nine years. The benefaction must therefore 
have been made between these two periods — very 
likely at the commencement of his reign. From 
Dempsters Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, we learn 
that, at the end of the tenth century, there existed a 
monastic institution at this place, of which one Ken- 
noch was abbot. The same authority states that the 
abbot was afterwards regarded as a saint, and his 
festival kept on the 14th of November of each year. 


If we are to believe this authority, we cannot help 
holding that an institution of the kind existed here 
long before the birth of David. It is beyond doubt,, 
however, that David refounded or restored this house, 
which he dedicated to the Holy Virgin, and appro- 
priated to the canons regular of the order of St. Aus- 
tin, imported from Beauvais, in Italy, where they had 
been founded by Ivo of Charters, in a monastery de- 
dicated to St. Quentin. 

The church is built in the form of a St. John's cross, 
consisting of a nave with aisles, a choir with chapels on 
each side, a tower over the centre of the cross, and 
transept. The parts now remaining are the nave, nearly 
the whole of the choir, with the south chapel, the centre 
tower, and the north transept. The south arm of the 
cross is entirely removed. The north aisle is also 
gone. A small portion of the south aisle is still 
standing, the remainder having been taken down 
when the west end of the nave was converted into a 
parish church. 

The domestic buildings have occupied the south 
side of the church, and, when entire, formed a large 
square, extending to the water's edge, where part of 
the buildings yet remain, and from which issues the 
common sewer of the offices. Part of the chapter 
house is still standing, but has been converted into 
modern habitations. Between this part now standing 
and the broken arm of the cross, was the treasury of 
the monks. On the south of the chapter house, 
nearer to the water, and where there is now a dye- 
house, was the library and scriptorium in which 


the old monks were engaged in copying MSS. 
About middle way between the present dyehouse 
and the garden of the Nest Academy, stood the 
refectory where the monks dined. To the west of 
this was the parlour or common hall where, at leisure 
hours the monks sat and conversed. Next to this, 
and occupying part of the garden to the west of the 
manse garden, w r ere the kitchens, offices, dairy, &c. 
At the west side of the square was the dormitory in 
which the monks slept ; and, farther west, the outer 
court, consisting of the infirmary and almonry. The 
entrance to this court was by an embattled gate- 
house, and was the principal approach to the abbey. 
It now goes by the name of Abbey Close. At the 
head of this close formerly stood a strong tower, po- 
pularly called David's tower ; but it is highly probable 
that it was the embattled house which guarded the 
approach to the abbey. 

The large square of the cloisters, in which the 
monks often sat or walked, is converted into a gar- 
den for the parish minister. Part of these magnifi- 
cent remains is used as the parish church, a circum- 
stance which cannot be sufficiently regretted, because 
it hides from the view ranges of beautiful columns 
which supported the roof of the nave. No regard 
whatever seems to have been paid to the appearance 
of the ruin by the adaptation of part of it for a parish 
church, nor has the slightest taste been displayed in 
its formation. In the interior of the church as little 
skill has been shown. The roof, instead of being laid 
on the top of the original walls, goes no higher than 

s - 




the bottom of the upper portion of the nave ; two 
tiers of galleries are at each end, and others connecte i 
with them are continued along the north wall, the front 
resting against the clustered columns, and concealing 
their beautiful proportions. 

The style of the architecture is what used to be de- 
nominated Saxon, but persons well qualified to judge 
in these matters have declared it to be Norman, and to 
afford the finest specimens in existence of that early 
style. In the chancel are massive piers, and circular 
arches indented and ornamented with zigzag mould- 
ing. At the height of about twelve feet from the 
ground, circular arches spring out of the centre of the 
columns, and within these again there have been 
pointed windows. On the top of the first arch, massy 
single shafts divide the space and support two 
pointed arches. On the south side of the choir the 
centre arches are circular, strong, and massy. The 
capitals of the centre shafts of the windows are or- 
namented with delicately worked foliage. In the 
south wall, near to the square tower, is a magnificent 
door, which was the entrance from the piazzas into 
the church, affording a fine specimen of pure Norman 
architecture, elegantly decorated. In the western 
gable is the great door or principal entrance to the 
abbey, of exceedingly beautiful workmanship, consist 
ing of clustered columns or shafts at the ingoing, from 
which spring a variety of ornamented mouldings, in 
which the chain, the tooth, and herring bone are con- 
spicuous. The height of the door at the entrance is 
about 15 feet, at the outside 20, and 7 feet in width. 


Over this doorway are three small niches, which 
appear to have been occupied ; and still higher up un 
the same gable, is a high window which has been 
divided by two mullions, but they are nearly destroy- 
ed by innovation, excepting part of the tracery at the 
top, which has not been preserved on account of its 
beautiful workmanship, but from having had the 
good fortune to be out of the reach of the modern 
Goths. The top of the window is a deep arch with 
shafts on the inside. On each side of the window 
are several recesses with broken shafts, bearing testi- 
mony to the zeal of our forefathers against the Roman 
catholic religion. Near the summit of the gable is a 
Catharine's wheel or rose window, fully twelve feet in 
diameter, and of good workmanship. On the apex of 
the gable is a plain cross. On each side of the great 
western door are two large windows. In this gable 
narrow stairs are pierced up in the angles of the wall 
to the top, where they terminate in a cone. From 
these stairs are passages, or corridors along the aisles 
of the nave, and, on each side of the triforium, a 
roomy arcade extends from the western gable to the 
tower in the centre. There was also an entrance from 
the north, but it was taken down by the rude hands 
of those whose heads could not appreciate the in- 
estimable value of the rare remains of an ancient age. 
A small portion of this door has been built into the 
north wall of the new church, affording as great a con- 
trast as the lily to the bramble. The moulding which 
has been preserved exhibits grotesque figures and flow- 
ers, with chevron, nailhead, and zigzag ornament. 


The basement story of the nave consists of two 
rows of clustered columns, the capitals of which are 
slightly decorated, and from which spring deep 
arches, inclining to the pointed style. The number 
of these clustered columns are nine on each side, and 
about the distance of fourteen feet from each other. 
Above these rise circular arches of the same width, 
with the columns standing on the clusters beneath, 
so that the weight does not press on the lower arch. 
These arches are divided by a shaft rising from the 
centre of the lower, and supporting a building within 
the arch, forming two pointed windows. In the centre 
of this building, and at the top of the shaft, is a small 
circular window. Over these again is a range of 
thirty-six pointed windows, numbering four to each 
arch below, forming a beautiful arcade at the summit 
of the building. 

The north transept is entire, and has the appear- 
ance of having been erected at a far later period 
than the other parts of the abbey. The walls are 
supported by buttresses of the latest kind, and which 
were adopted after the shelving buttresses were dis- 
used. At the end of the transept is a beautiful win- 
dow, nearly the whole height of the gable wall of the 
transept. It is in a good state of preservation, the 
muliions for the most part entire, and accurately exe- 
cuted. The tracery at the top is delicately chiseled. 
Above this window the arms of the Kers, the senes- 
chals of the abbey, are engraved on a stone, but now 
greatly defaced. On the summit is an ornamented 
cross. On the west side of the transept there is a 



corbel in one of the buttresses, on which a statue has 
at one time stood, and over its head a canopy. The 
corbel and canopy remain, but the statue fell a victim 
to the phrenzy of the populace. There are also two 
high windows in the west wall of this part of the 
transept, but narrow and divided by one mullion ; 
the tracery at the top being wrought into quatrefoil 
and trefoil. 

The tower over the centre of the cross is imposing. 
It is a large building about thirty feet square, and 
120 feet high, rising upon four circular arches, at 
least fifty feet high. Above these arches there have 
been two floors, and at the summit an arch of stone; 
but which fell many years ago, owing to the walls 
having separated a little from the injury which they 
sustained from the cannonshots of Eure, Laiton, and 
Hertford. On the north part of the arch a lofty 
belfry rises, the south part of which stands near to 
the centre of the arch, and it is surprising, consider- 
ing its great weight, that it should have stood so 
secure. The form of the belfry consists of three build- 
ings, the centre of which is an octagon tower, roofed 
with stone. At each square is a shaft from the base 
to the modillion. On the north side of this centre 
tower is a narrow arched door, with a moulding 
round the arch, having at each termination the figure 
of a man's head nicely cut. On each side of the tower 
is a projecting wall, in which is an arch rather of the 
horseshoe form, having an iron bar in the centre, on 
which it is supposed the bells of the monastery were 
suspended. The belfry has been ascended from the 


upper floor by a stair, which emerges upon the top at 
the foot of the centre tower, the door of which is to- 
wards the north. At each corner of the tower is a 
turret of some height, which has terminated in the 
form of a cross. The whole of the top has been sur- 
rounded by projecting battlements, but on which a 
modern balustrade has now been placed. Exactly be- 
low the battlements are placed a number of figures 
resembling human heads, exceedingly well executed. 
Near to the northwest turret, the royal arms of Scot- 
land are cut in one of the stones. At the southwest 
turret, two finely formed arms of a child are stretch- 
ed out of the wall, and holding one of the human 
figures by the mouth. The contortions of the coun- 
tenance are finely depicted. The tower is lighted by 
seventeen windows. In the upper part are ten large 
circular, and two small windows. Each of these large 
windows have been bisected by one mullion, ending 
at the top in a trefoil, and around the outside of the 
arch is a cornice moulding, having at each end the 
figure of a human head. On the southeast side of the 
tower is another head, but sore defaced. The tower 
is ascended by a very narrow stair cut in the south- 
east corner of the building, communicating with 
every part of it, by deep passages in the solid wall, 
corridor and arcades, so that a person might go 
round the whole building without being observed by 
those below. The tower is a prominent feature of 
the ruin, and combines most happily with the sur- 
rounding scenery of that delightful valley, through 
which the waters of the Jed flow. The prospect from 


the top of the tower is enchanting. In the beginning 
of the present century, this tower showed evident 
symptoms of falling into ruins, the northern front 
having parted from the southern side, caused by de- 
cay of the wall, at the junction of the original roof of 
the north transept with the tower. Various archi- 
tects were consulted, and divrs opinions given ; at 
last the plan of Mr Archibald Elliot, London, was 
adopted and successfully carried out. The two walls 
were tied together with strong iron bars, and then 
the front that had parted, was forced back to its 
former situation with powerful screws, after which 
the decayed part of the wall was repaired. 

A careful examination of these ruins is satisfactory 
to our mind, that a great portion of the present build- 
ing was erected subsequent to the wars of Wallace 
and Bruce. The oldest part is distinguished by the 
heavy round pillar, and the semicircular arch, and 
this style is to be found in the lower parts of the 
choir, in a small part of the south chapel, the two 
pillars which support the north wall of the tower, and 
the pillars farther north, and which, in the -older 
structure, contributed to form the north arm of the 
cross. The same style is seen in what remains of the 
south transept. In these portions there is not the 
least approach to the pointed style, and no ornament 
or decoration of any kind is to be found on these 
arches and pillars, except the zigzag moulding com- 
mon to the early period. The old portion too seems 
to be built with a white coloured freestone, while the 
succeeding style is built with reddish freestone. Over 


the arches raised on the round heavy pillar, the 
pointed style prevails, and the experienced eye finds 
no difficulty in tracing the junction of these two 
styles. The one is entirely distinct from the other 
both in material and style. Wherever the old style 
exists, there is no buttress, but wherever the pointed 
is found, the early buttress is seen supporting the wall. 
It is thought that a great part of the abbey was de- 
stroyed during the succession wars ; and that this is 
the more likely to have happened from the fact, that 
the abbot and his brother of Melrose supported the 
claims of Bruce, and maintained the independence of 
the kingdom. In this we find a key to the unrelent- 
ing cruelty of the ambitious Edward to the monastery 
of Jedburgh. While these wars continued, the abbey 
was reduced to such a condition that the members 
thereof required to be billeted on other houses in 
England. But when the independence of the king- 
dom was secured on the field of Bannockburn, the 
gallant Bruce strove to repair the abbey, whose oc- 
cupants had suffered so severely for their long tried 
friendship to their king, and devotion to the liberty 
of the country. In support of this view there is 
abundant testimony to be found. It was customary 
in the early days for persons to erect distinct 
portions of the religious houses, and on those parts 
the name of the party was generally affixed. One 
person would erect a pillar, another a window, a 
third a buttress, and so on, every piece of work 
bearing the impress of the person who was at the 
expense of that particular part. In this way the 


venerable ruin seems to have been in part erected. 
As mentioned before, over the old heavy pillars, 
which are built with white freestone, the building 
is composed of the reddish stone. The same kind 
of stone has been used, and the same style followed in 
building up or contracting the wide space between 
the pillars on the ground, and higher up the deep 
splay-mouthed arches of the olden time have been 
narrowed. On all this building, with reddish stone, 
the name of " John JlaW appears. The name can 
be distinctly traced on the new work, building up the 
old arches on the north of the choir ; it is also found 
on the work between the virgin's chapel and the choir, 
and the bosses of the groins of the same aisle exhi- 
bit the same name. The same name is found on a 
bo$i which some Goth has placed over the door of 
the north entrance to the present church. Wherever 
this name appears, the building is of one type, 
viz , the upper part of the chancel ; all the build- 
ing between the piers of that place ; and all the 
new work in the south chapel. Now we have the 
means of ascertaining almost the precise date when 
this must have been done. In 1473, the name of the 
abbot was Robert, for we find him named as a com- 
missioner to meet at Alnwick at this time, for taking 
into consideration the grievances of the inhabitants 
on both sides of the border. Five years after that, 
that is in 1478, " John HalV filled the office of 
abbot, and it is very probable that he did so for 
twenty-five years. There can be no doubt that the 
portions of the abbey mentioned above had all been 


rebuilt during the period Hall was abbot. It is, 
therefore, clear to us, that the building, which had 
been destroyed during the succession wars, had been 
repaired, indeed nearly rebuilt between the peace of 
Northampton' and 1494 — John Hall effecting the most 
important improvements. The cloisters had all been 
previously destroyed and then rebuilt. That they 
were not in existence during the succession wars is 
obvious, from the fact of the monks being lodged in 
other religious houses throughout the kingdom, and 
we may, therefore, with safety, conclude that they 
returned and rebuilt their dwelling places under the 
influence of peace. 

Notwithstanding what has been already stated as 
to the opinion of skilled persons in regard to the style 
of the building, we are inclined to think that the 
lower parts of the chancel belong to a still earlier 
period. During Ecgred's life, a church existed here.* 
We have seen that before the end of the tenth century 
Kennoch filled the office of abbot. The Inquisitia 
Davidis, 1116, takes notice of the churches of Teviot- 
dale. In a charter granted by David to the monas- 
tery of Coldingham, in 1139, one Daniel is designed 
as "prior cle Geddurde* Wyntown says expressly 
that the abbey was founded in 1118. It seems clear 
that a religious house existed here at the middle 
of the 9th century; and it is thought that, at the time 
David is said to have founded the abbey, he merely 

Ecgred died before the middle of the ninth century, 


suppressed the previous occupants, and introduced the 
canons regular as before mentioned. 

While treating of the abbey we cannot pass over a 
circumstance that occurred in 1285, within the walls 
of the building, which was the wonder of that day and 
of succeeding ages. The old annalists to a man noted 
it, and in later days the incident has been worked up 
into a tale of the border.* While John Morel was 
abbot of Jedburgh, it was arranged that the nuptials 
of Alexander III., with the daughter of the Count of 
Dreux, should take place at Jedburgh in the month 
of October — the town being endeared to the king by 
many associations, and where he delighted to reside. 
The historians of the day are loud in their praises of 
the beauty of the locality, declaring that in all the 
kingdom there was no place so well fitted for the re- 
ception of the beauteous bride, and the display of 
royal magnificence. The bride arrived with a nu- 
merous retinue and splendid equipage, and the mar- 
riage ceremony was performed in the church before 
the court, and a vast assembly gathered together 
from every part of the country, to cheer the heart} of 
their king, and to welcome to a strange land the 
lovely bride. In the evening a masked ball wa3 given 
in the abbey, accompanied, historians relate, by such 
splendour, and variety of feasts and diversions, as had 
not before been seen in Scotland. But while these 
hilarities were at their zenith, and all was joy unbound- 
ed, an unwelcome visitor appeared upon the festive 

* Border Tales of the late John Mackay Wilson. 


boards, and whose presence put a sudden end to the 
mirth which reigned around, It appears that one of 
the exhibitions got up for the entertainment of the 
court consisted of a kind of military dance, in which 
a procession formed a part. At the close of the pro- 
cession of maskers, in glided a spectre, at sight of 
which the music and dancing ceased in an instant, and 
terror took possession of every heart. In the midst 
of the tumult which followed the spectre disappeared. 
Fordun, who narrates the occurrence, says it was a 
spectre resembling death, and Hector Boece says ex- 
pressly that the appearance was a skeleton. A version 
of the tale is also given in poetry : 

u In the mid revels, the first ominous night 
Of their espousals, when the room shone bright 
With lighted tapers, — the king and queen leading 
The curious measures, lords and ladies treading 
The self-same strains, — the king looks back by chance, 
And spies a strange intruder fill the dance ! 
Namely, a mere anatomy, quite bare, 
His naked limbs both without flesh and hair ! 
(As we decipher death) who stalks about, 
Keeping true measure till the dance be out ! 
The king, with all the rest, affrighted stand ; 
The spectre vanished, and then strict command 
Was given to break up revels ; each-'gan fear 
The other, and presage disaster near. 
If any ask what did of this succeed ? 
The king, soon after, falling from his steed, 
Unhappily died. After whose death, ensuing, 
Was to tbe land sedition, wrack, and ruin."* 

In that age of superstition and darkness the presence 

Heywood's Ilierarchie of the Blessed Angels. Book 


of the unknown visitor was at once imputed to super- 
natural means, and looked upon as full of evil omen 
to the kingdom, and to the illustrious individual 
whose marriage had been solemnized. And this opi- 
nion was not lessened by the sad event which followed 
in the train of this evil omen, when beginnings so joy- 
ful and promising issued in sorrow and disappoint- 
ment. In the spring of the following year Alexander 
was thrown from his horse on Kinghorn sands, by 
which his neck was dislocated, and in the absence of 
necessary aid he expired. The succession war followed 
his death, and deluged the kingdom in a sea of blood 
for nearly sixty years, during which this abbey felt 
its full share of misery. It is thought that the har- 
lequin spectre or skeleton was a foolish pleasantry to 
frighten the court ladies, or a pious fraud of the 
monks to check the growth of such midnight revels. 
Theatrical representations, or a sort of dramatic wor- 
ship was common in the abbeys, and especially in 
those within the diocese of Durham. At these repre- 
sentations they had appropriate scenery, machinery, 
dresses, and decorations. The crucifixion of Christ 
was performed, the actors going through the entire 
scene of our Saviour's passion, one individual being 
literally bound to and suspended on a cross erected 
on a scaffold for the purpose. These representations 
were no doubt borrowed from the heathen. Among 
the Greeks and Romans playhouses and temples were 
close together, and the exhibitions which took place 
in them had in part a religious character. It is 
curious to enquire into the history of these represen- 


tations, and it is not a little singular to notice the 
affinity between the church and the theatre in ancient 
times. Probably some pious monk represented death, 
in the procession of maskers, to terrify the court, 
and prevent a repetition of such scenes. The nume- 
rous passages in the abbey would facilitate his es- 

In 1523 the building sustained serious injury in the 
conflict with Surrey. After the streets were forced, 
the burghers retired into the tow x ers, and renewed the 
deadly strife. The abbey was also fiercely defended 
by its gallant bailie, Ker of Fernieherst, in the midst 
of its burning ruins. In 1544, when Eurie invaded 
the locality, his gunners turned their pieces on the 
abbey, which they took and burned. In the same 
year Hertford laid the abbey again in ruins. 

Within the ruins lie the ashes of many persons of 
distinction. During the eleventh century Eadulfus, 
a younger son of an earl of Northumberland, was 
buried in its sacred precincts. The family of the 
Marquis of Lothian have their vault in the north 
transept. Here are observed the tombstones of An- 
drew Ker, Lord Warden of the Marches, who died 
in 1524; John Ker, another Warden, father of Sir 
Thomas, who died in 1539 ; Sir James Ker of Crail- 
ing, who died in 1 649, and Andrew, Lord Jedburgh, 
Baron of Ferniehirst, one of his Majesty's privy 
council in 1656. In the choir, the Hutherfurds of 
Eduerston inter their dead. Within the cross and 
nave of the church are planted on every side the se- 
pulchres of the dead : 


" And, questionless, here in those open courts, 
Which now lie naked to the injuries 
Of stormy weather, soma men lie interred, 
Who loved the church so well, and gave so largely to it, 
They thought it should have canopied their bones 
'I'd I doomsday. But all things have an end, 
Churches and cities that have diseases like to men, 
Must have like death that we have." 

The ruins afford a theme for Leyden's muse : 

" Then, Jedworth ! though thy ancient choirs shall lade, 
And time lay bare each lofty colonnade, 
From the damp roof the massy sculptures die, 
And in their vaults the rifted arches lie, 
Still in these vales shall angel harps prolong 
By Jed's pure stream a sweeter even- song, 
Than long processions once with mystic zeal 
Pour'd to the harp and solemn organ's peal." 

These magnificent ruins have been repeatedly en- 
graved. In the Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, and 
in Billings'' Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities 
of Scotland, they will be found beautifully illustrated.* 

The Abbey of Kelso is entitled to be noticed after 
the Abbey of Jedburgh. f It stands on the south 
side of the town of Kelso, "where Tweed her silent 

* It may be worth noticing here, that the poet Thomson received 
part of his education within the abbey. The chapel on the south 
side of the choir was at that time the classical school of the burgh, 
and which the poet attended. 

f Perhaps this Abbey ought properly to have been ranked first, as 
it was the richest of all the sainted David's monasteries, and probably 
too the first founded by him ; but in placing the abbey after Jedburgh, 
we have been guided by the antiquity of the religious house, there 
being no doubt that Jedburgh is of far greater antiquity than Kelso. 
Kelso was freed from all episcopal jurisdiction and dues, and in pre- 
cedency second only to the Priory of St. Andrews. 


way majestic holds, 1 ' amidst scenes of great beauty. 
Pennant and Hutchinson suppose it to have been 
built in the form of a Greek cross, with arms of 
equal length, while others entertain a different opin- 
ion. The construction of the abbey is peculiar to 
itself; and although not exactly in the form of a 
Greek cross, it bears a nearer resemblance to that 
form than any other. The nave of the church and 
the arms of the transept are of the same length, and 
the choir from the east wall of the transept is very 
little if at all longer than one of the arms of the tran- 
sept. The choir, with the exception of two arches, 
and the superstructure above these, is entirely in 
ruins. When entire it has had two side arches, but 
these are now gone. The walls of the transept are 
nearly entire. The cloister and other domestic buil- 
dings of the abbey were in the south of the choir, but 
these are entirely destroyed. 

With regard to the style of the building, the edi- 
tor of the Book of Kelso says, " Its ruins exhibit the 
progression of architecture that took place over 
Scotland and England between the middle of the 
twelfth and the middle of the thirteenth centuries. 
What remains of the choir affords a good specimen of 
the plain Norman style : not of the earliest charac- 
ter, but such as prevailed in England before 1150, 
and in Scotland perhaps a little later. The wester 
front is later Norman, probably of the latter half of 
the twelfth century ; and the great western doorway, 
of which but a fragment remains, must have been a 
fine specimen of the period which produced the richest 


architecture of the circular arch. Of the same period, 
nearly, is the arcade of intersecting arches, a form 
more common in the churches of Normandy than in 
those of Britain ; and lastly, the tower springs from 
arches of a transition character, marking the first half 
of the thirteenth century, when the Norman style was 
passing into that which is now almost authoritatively 
stamped with the appellation of early English. 11 A 
later authority observes, " with regard to the period 
of architecture, as evinced by its character, the mix- 
ture of the round and pointed is here so close, that 
while the great supporting arches of the tower are of 
the latter- — probably from its being held to be the 
stronger form — the upper tiers of small windows re- 
tain the Norman shape. The porch has often been 
adduced as a striking instance of the mixed richness 
and symmetry of which Norman decoration is capable. 
It will be seen that two distinct types of Norman are 
here distinguishable, as they are in the other eccle- 
siastical buildings of the old Lindesferne district — the 
one heavy massive and round ; the other light foliated, 
and moulded almost to the extent of being clustered 
with little of the circular character, except the arch. 
This distinction is still more prominently noticeable in 
Jedburgh. The interlaced arches, which some sup- 
pose to have given the first hint of the pointed Gothic 
arch, are here pretty profuse. The building is one of 
the few in which the head of the cross is to the west 
— the chancel or choir being considerably shorter than 
the nave. 11 * 

* Billing's Btironial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland. 

PLATE, 17. 



In the wall above the two remaining arches of the 
choir, are two rows of corridors running one above 
the other, and which, like those in many other religi- 
ous houses, have been at one time connected by pas- 
sages with the other portions of the building. The 
door of the western entrance is decorated with grotes- 
que carvings, and the zigzag moulding. This door, and 
the western entrance to the abbey of Jedburgh, seem 
to be executed in the same style. It is said by the 
authority referred to above, that the building bears a 
closer resemblance to the Norman castle, than any 
other building in Scotland, and that " there must have 
been sound judgment in the Norman builder, who 
environed the spiritual brethren with such ample 
means of carnal defence.'"* 

* It seems to have been tbe intention of Hertford to have made a 
fortress of the abbey ; but he found the thing so difficult that it was 
impossible to do it within the time that the English army could re- 
main at Kelso. In a letter which the earl addressed to the king of 
England, from the camp at Kelso, reasons for not proceeding with 
the fortifications are set forth, viz : — He found there so great and 
superfluous buildings of stone, of great height and circuit, as well 
about the church as the domestic buildings, to take down which 
would take the army at the least two months ; and to make the for- 
tress so large as to contain all these buildings, could not be finished 
in a great time ; that owing to the water of Tweed rising suddenly 
the victuals could not be obtained by the fortress when they wished 
them. On the other side of the river, the fortress would be com- 
manded by Maxwetlheugh 5 and besides, the soil about the place was 
«o sandy and brittle that no turf could be found to build with, and the 
ground about the abbey was such a hard gravel, that without a' " coun- 
termure" of stone it would not serve to make the ditches. This 
statement of the English general is instructive as to the solidity of 
the abbey, and the extent of the buildings connected therewith. 



After the reformation, part of the building was 
made to serve the purposes of a parish church, by 
throwing an arch over the transept. Hutchinson, when 
he visited it, thought the place more resembled a 
prison than a house of prayer. It continued to be 
used as a church till J 771, when the falling of a quan- 
tity of plaster during worship so frightened the 
people, that the congregation could never again be 
assembled together in that place. A new church was 
built, and the modern additions to the abbey were 
removed by the then Duke of Roxburgh, that the 
beautiful fabric might be exhibited to view, and the 
decayed parts were repaired by subscription. 

Like their brethren in Jedburgh, the Kelso monks 
were often forced to turn their abbey into a place of 
defence against the English. Occasionally they had 
to defend themselves from their own countrymen. 
In 1515, while Andrew Stewart, bishop of Caithness, 
held the abbey in trust, the famous Dand Ker of 
Ferniherst, with a body of retainers, assaulted the 
abbey, took it, and turned the superior out of doors. 
The Earl of Shrewsbury laid it waste in 1521,. and 
what remained was next year destroyed by Surrey. 
About 1542 the Duke of Norfolk reduced it to ashes: 
two years later Sir George Bowes and Sir Brian Lai- 
ton made a still more wasteful invasion ; and in 1545 
the Earl of Hertford paid the locality a visit, when 
300 men retired into the abbey and made an obsti- 
nate resistance, but were forced to yield to superior 
numbers. The reformation followed the devastations 
of Hertford, when the populace destroyed the images 


of wood and stone which the monks had set up. The 
scene was closed by the burghers of Kelso carrying 
away the stones of the church and domestic buildings 
for the erection of houses in the town. 

The exact period of the foundation of this religious 
house has been clearly ascertained. The monks who 
were of the order of Tyrone, were at first settled by 
David at Selkirk, in the wilderness, but on account of 
that place being unsuitable for a religious establish- 
ment, they were translated to the banks of the Tweed 
in 1128. From the absence of any notices of a reli- 
gious house existing at this place previous to this 
period, we are warranted in concluding that no part 
of the house, the ruins of which are so much admired 
at the present day, is older than 1128. 

The abbey of Kelso was a favourite resting place 
for the ashes of the dead. We find a number of pri- 
vileges granted to the abbey by persons of distinc- 
tion and wealth, on the condition of right of burial 
within the sacred precincts. 

The Abbey of Dryburgh is situated upon a piece of 
haugh land, around which the river Tweed describes 
a half-moon.* The situation is very beautiful. -f* In 

* The name is said to be derived from tlie Celtic drui for oaks, and 
the Saxon bitrg meaning the settlement or fortification at the oaks. 
But the correct derivation is thought to be wholly from the Saxon, 
and is intended to signify the fortified town at the dry place, to dis- 
tinguish it from the town or dwelling at the marsh or lake. In early- 
times Dryburgh was a town of importance, and had weekly markets, 
f " Beneath, Tweed murmured 'mid the forest green ; 
And through thy beech tree and laburnum boughs, 
A solemn ruin, lovely in repose, 
Dryburgh ! thine ivied walls by us were seen." 


front the Tweed rolls its impetuous waters, while, be- 
hind, the ground rises to a great height, covered on 
the summit with wood, and all around the ruins are 
noble trees — the oak, beech, and the aspen, with the 
sad yew tree and a number of fruit trees, said to be 
coeval with the grey ruin itself. The situation of this 
august pile fur surpasses any of the other monas- 
teries in " bonnie Teviotdale," and cannot fail to call 
forth the admiration of those who love to " converse 
with nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled." 
Most of the other abbeys of Teviotdale are hurt by 
the vicinity of rude buildings, which prevent the ruins 
from producing upon the mind that effect they other- 
wise would if absent from the streets; but the moral 
of a ruin in the midst of a lovely landscape must come 
home with more or less force to every mind, and puts 
one id a mood to read " sermons in stones, and good 
in everything." 

The abbey has been built in the form of a cross, 
but the transept and choir are shorter than the gene- 
rality of the Roman churches. The principal remains 
of the building are the western gable of the nave of 
the church, the ends of the transept, part of the 
choir, and a portion of the domestic buildings, which, 
when complete, seem to have formed a large quad- 
rangle to the south of the nave of the church. The 
principal door in the west gable is of excellent work- 
manship, consisting of a semi-circular arch, with four 
single shafts at the ingoing : the other parts of the 
nave are destroyed. The south parts of the transept 
arise nearly to the height of one hundred feet, 


with a large and beautiful window, divided by four 
mullions; the arch at the top is circular, and the 
whole presents the appearance of a harp. This win- 
dow is seen from the turnpike road, towering in ma- 
jestic grandeur above the rich foliage of the noble 
oaks, with which it is surrounded. A winding stair 
leads up to this part of the ruin, from which you 
emerge upon the top of a chapel dedicated to St. 
Moden. From this place there is a fine view of the 
ruins, the dilapidated domestic buildings forming a 
square, within which were the piazzas where the 
monks of St. Mary walked, but 

" Thy court is now a garden, where the flowers 
Expand in silent beaut}', and the bird, 
Fluttering from bough to bough, alone is heard 
To fill with song thy melancholy bower; 
Yet did a solemn pleasure fill the soul, 
As through thy shadowy cloistered cells we trode, 
To think, white pile ! that thou wert the abode 
Of men who could to solitude control 
Their hopes, and from ambition's pathway stole 
To give their whole lives sinlessly to God." 

On the top of the arch a large ivy rises, and winds to 
the apex of the loftiest peak of the ruin. In the 
centre too are lilac oaks of considerable size, and a 
dwarf pine, and other trees of the forest nod silently 
in the breeze, affording a mournful instance of the in- 
stability of all human institutions. 

On the opposite side of the church a portion of the 
ruin is still standing, rising to the height of fifty feet. 
Here is St. Mary's aisle, by far the most beautiful part 
of the ruin ; the arched roof of which springs from a 
variety of clustered columns of fine workmanship. 


Above this is seen a corridor with single pillars in 
front, and which at one time must have encircled the 
church ; but now only broken and disjointed frag- 
ments are to be seen. 

The choir is entirely gone, excepting a small por- 
tion of the eastern wall, within which the altar stood. 
The chapter house is a spacious apartment, 50 feet 
by 25, and about 25 feet high. In the west end are 
three windows, and in the opposite end the like num- 
ber. Next is a roofless building, supposed to have 
been the abbot's parlour, 50 feet long, by 20 feet 
wide. There are three windows in this apartment. 
Farther on is a building which is imagined to have 
been the library of the establishment, but it is in a 
very dilapidated state. The refectory adjoins to this; 
and judging of the ancient state from its present ap- 
pearance, it must have been a spacious hall, extending 
from east to west nearly 100 feet, 30 feet in width, 
and not less than 60 feet high. The two gables are 
yet standing. In the western is a well executed rose 
window near the summit, nearly 12 feet diameter, 
which has a striking effect, shooting above the um- 
brageous scenery with which it is surrounded.* 

• Connected with these ruins is the following story, told by Sir 
Walter Scott, in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border :— " After the 
insurrection in 1745, an unfortunate female wanderer took up her 
residence in a dark vault among the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey, which, 
during the day, she never quitted. When night fell, she issued from 
this miserable habitation and went to the house of Halljburtons of 
Newmains, or to that of the Erskines of Shieldfield, two gentlemen 
of the neighbourhood. From their charity she obtained such neces- 
saries as she could be prevailed on to accept. At twelve each night 


The first settlement of the religious establishment 
at Dryburgh is involved in the gloom of antiquity ; 
but there is satisfactory evidence that the canons of 
St. Augustine located themselves on the banks of 
the Tweed in 1150. Some difference of opinion, how- 
ever, exists as to the identity of the founder. One 
party puts in a claim for Hugh de Morville, who pos- 
sessed the whole of Lauderdale so low down as Leger- 
wood ; and at the influx of the river Leader to the 
Tweed, he enjoyed many rich lands, including Be- 
merside, Dryburgh, Merton, &c. Others maintain 
that the pious David was the founder. The Chroni- 
cle of Melrose, while recording the death of Hugh de 
Morville, says that he was the founder of the church 
of Dryburgh.* But it seems clear that the chronicle 

she lighted her candle and returned to her vault, assuring her friendly 
neighbours that during her absence her habitation was arranged by a 
spirit, to whom she gave the uncouth name of Fatlips ; describing 
him as a little man wearing heavy iron shoes, with which he tramp- 
led the clay floor of the vault to dispel the damps. This circumstance 
caused her to be regarded by the well-informed with compassion as 
deranged in her understanding, and by the vulgar with .some degree 
of terror. The cause of her adopting this extraordinary mode of life 
she would never explain. It was, however, believed to have been oc^ 
casioned by a vow, that during the absence of a man to whom she 
was attached, she would never look upon the sun. Her lover never 
returned. He fell during the civil wars of 1745-6, and she never 
more would behold the light of day. The vault, or rather dungeon, 
in which this unfortunate woman lived and died, passes still by the 
name of the supernatural being with which its gloom was tenanted 
by her disturbed imagination, and few of the neighbouring peasants 
dare enter it." 

* " Obiit Hugo de Moreuille, foundator ecclesie de Drieburgh." 
—Chronicle of Melrose, p. 78. 


is wrong, for we find that in the charter granted by 
David to the abbey, he expressly calls himself its 
founder, and which surely must be taken as better 
evidence than the statement of any third party. It 
is probable that the wealthy Hugh de Morville was a 
great benefactor to the monks of St. Mary, but that 
he founded the establishment is distinctly contradicted 
by David himself, who had the best right to know 
what he himself did.* 

The abbey wa3 burned by Edward, and in 1385 
Richard II., while returning from an expedition into 
Scotland, laid it in waste. In 15-14 the sacred walls 
were visited by Bowes and Laiton, but not in a spirit 
of love. In the same year Hertford included it in his 
circuit of destruction. 

Many persons of distinction lie buried here. In the 
chapter house its generous benefactor, Hugh de Mor- 
ville, and his wife, Beatrix de Beauehamp, rest. In 
St. Mod en's chapel, the Earl and Countess of Buchan, 
and the first wife of the late Sir David Erskine are 
interred. St. Mary's aisle, on the north of the choir, 
is occupied by the ashes of three different families ; 
the Halliburtons of Merton, the Erskines of Shield- 
field, and the Haigs of Bemerside. In the burying 
ground of the first family, sleeps the Great Magician, 
" whose wand all things to life could waken. 1 ' His 
body was buried here on the 26th September, 1832.*f- 

• Chalmers' Caledonia, vol. ii., p. 336. --Foot Note. The words 
used by David, in his charter to the abbey, are " quam fundavi." 

t It was near the close oi' the afternoon of that day, sad in Scottish 
annals, when the funeral train arrived in the precincts of the house 



The remains of his son-in-law, J. G. Lockhart, occupy 
the same place.* 

Melkose Abbey is situated on the northern base of 
the Eildon hills, at the town which bears its name. 
The original house stood in a bend of the river Tweed, 
about two miles farther to the east, and where the 
mansion of Old Melrose is at present situated. Seve- 
ral etymologists, and among these the learned Mr 
Chalmers, are of opinion that the name is derived 
from the British mell> a projection, and r7ioss, a mea- 

of Dryburgh, from whence the coffin was carried to the tomb appoint- 
ed for all living. At the head of the coffin walked the eldest son of the 
deceased ; on the right Charle&Scott, the second son, (both now dead ;) 
Charles Scott of Nesbit, William Scott of Raeburn, and Colonel Rus- 
tfel of Ash) steel. On the left were J. G. Lockhart, his son-in-law, 
James Scott of Nesbit, Robert Rutherfurd, W.S., and Hugh Scott of 
Harden. At the foot walked William Keith, Esq., Edinburgh. In 
front of these walked the mutes, and behind a dense mass followed 
the remains of him whom they loved and venerated. The funeral 
service was read by Mr Williams, rector of the Edinburgh Academy, 
after which the coffin was carried beneath the lofty gothic arches of 
the ruin, and lowered into the silent tomb amid a crowd of weeping 
friends, many of whom had often listened to the sparkling wit of the 
poet, and stood enraptured with admiration, while, from his lips, rolled 
out those powerful verses with which his head was ever teeming.. The 
burial place is worthy of the Minstrel Bard, and every way in unison 
with the thoughts and feelings of the departed. A lofty gothic arch 
springs from the decorated capitals of the clustered columns. Around 
the gothic walls, which form the poet's grave, nature has been most 
profuse in her decorations. At one place a beautiful plum tree spreads 
its branches, which in due season yields a mellow fruit. " At another 
a young cypress tree rears its spiral form, while a variety of creeping 
plants, " with ivy never sere," is to be found in luxuriant abundance 
around St. Mary's ais!e. 

* The remains of the biographer were interred oa Dec. 1, ISoi* 


dow, while others derive it from the Irish maol, signi- 
fying bare, and ross, a projection. Mr Morton, in the 
Monastic Annals of Teviotdale, conceives that the 
name is from mull, meaning bare, and rhos, a pro- 
montory. It is, however, thought the religious house 
of Old Melrose took its name from the three Eildons, 
at whose base it stood. These hills were originally 
called 31oeldun, which, in the language of the Cambro 
British, signifies the " brown conical hills." Moel, of 
itself, means a conical or round hill, and dun brown. 
The religious house standing upon a point of land 
around which the river Tweed bended, would be de- 
scribed as Moelross, that is, the religious establish- 
ment situated on the point which runs into the 
Tweed at the round or conical hills : 3foel 9 conical 
hill, and ross, a point or peninsula. This meaning 
exactly agrees with the description of the locality. It 
must be kept in mind that, in those early days, places 
were not so easily found as they are now, and any 
one in search of that far famed establishment, would 
be told that it stood upon a point or peninsula on the 
river Tweed, near to the conical hills : Moelross. 
The appellation is not, it will be observed, descriptive 
of the present house, but at the time it was built, it 
was not so necessary to describe the situation, from 
the appearance or quality of the locality; besides the 
new house retained the old name. The exact period 
of the foundation of the old house is not ascertained, 
but it is believed that it existed so early as the 
seventh century, and that it was founded by the 
Scottish Aidan, who had been presented by Oswald, 


the Northumbrian king, with the Holy Island for 
his episcopal seat. Aidan died in 651, so that we 
may conclude that the establishment here arose be- 
tween 634, and that time. It probably existed as a 
religious house, notwithstanding the devastating in- 
roads of Picts and Scots, till David founded the new 
house, part of which exists at the present day. Miln, 
in his description of the parish of Melrose, states that 
he saw the foundations of a wall, which had enclosed 
the house, and which reached from the south corner 
of the Tweed, to the west corner, where the neck of 
land is narrow. At the entrance of the abbey, which 
was about the middle of the wall, there had been a 
house called the Redhouse. A place is still called the 
Chapel Know, and on the Tweed, there are the 
Monksford* and Haly wheel ;-f* opposite is the Haly- 
dean, down which a small rivulet flows to the Tweed. 

* Monksford is a ford in the Tweed between the abbeys of Melrose 
and Dryburgh. 

+ The Hali/wkeel, in the river Tweed, is thought to have derived 
its name 'from being the place where the visionary brother Drithelm 
bathed and did penance. He is said to have been the master of a 
family in Northumberland, — fell sick, and died at night, but was 
raised to life in the morning. At the request of king Alfrid, he was 
admitted into the monastery of Melrose, where a private dwelling 
was provided for him by the abbot Ethalwald, in which he lived till 
his death. " And as that place lay on the bank of the river, he was 
wont to go into the same to do penance in his body, and many times 
to dip quite under the water, and to continue singing psalms or prayers 
in the same as long as he could endure it, standing still sometimes up 
to the middle, and sometimes to the neck in water; and when he 
went out from thence ashore, he never took off his cold and frozen 
garments till they grew warm and dry on his body. And when in the 
winter the half-broken pieces of ice were swimming about him, which 


About the year 1135, David removed the religious 
house from Old Melrose to its present situation. It 
was dedicated in 1146, under the invocation of the 
Holy Virgin. The present building, the ruins of 
which now only remain, was commenced about the 
middle of the fourteenth century. Robert I. gave 
i?2000 to build it, a sum nearly equal to .^50,000 of 
the money of the present day. The stones are of the 
old red sandstone, and supposed to have been dug 
from the quarries of Bemerside and Dryburgh ; and 
so excellent are they, that though the fabric has stood 
for about 400 years, the sculpture is as fresh and 
sharp as if newly cut, neither is there observable the 
slightest scaling or wasting of the stone on the out- 
side, even where most exposed to the operation of the 
weather. It is built in the form of a Latin cross, the 
south end of the transept presenting itself in front. 
It is different in its form from Jedburgh and Dry- 
burgh, the choir and transepts of these abbeys being 
of greater dimensions than Melrose, while the nave 
of the latter seems to have been of greater length. It 
has consisted, when entire, of a long nave with two 

lie had himself broken, to make room to stand or dip himself in the 
river, those who beheld it would say, ' It is wonderful, brother Drit- 
helm, (for so he was called,) that you are nble to endure such violent 
cold ;' he simply answered, for he was a man of much simplicity and 
indifferent wit, ' I have seen greater cold.' And when they said, ' it 
is strange that you will endure such austerity,' he replied, ' I have seen 
more austerity.' Thus he continued, through an indefatigable desire 
of heavenly bliss, to subdue his aged body with daily fasting till the 
day of his being called away, and thus he forwarded the salvation of 
many by his words and example."— Giles' Bede, p. 253. 


aisles on the south, and a narrow side aisle on the 
north, with choir, transept, tower over the cross, 
cloisters and chapter house. 

The parts now remaining of this elegant structure 
are the choir and transept, the westside, and part of 
the north and south walls of the great tower, part 
of the nave, nearly the whole of the southmost aisles, 
and part of the north aisle. No part of the offices 
now remain ; but these have been situated to the 
north of the church, and from the vestiges which have 
from time to time been discovered, must have been of 
great extent. 

From the west gable being in ruins, the chief 
entrance is by agate at the south end of the transept. 
The arching of the gate is composed of a semicircle, 
with various members of most delicate work falling 
behind each other, supported on light and well-pro- 
portioned pilasters : on each side is a projection of 
rich tabernacle work. The corners of this end of 
the structure are supported by angular buttresses, 
pierced with niches for statues, the pedestals and 
canopies of which are light, and ornamented with 
garlands and flowers. Above the arch are several 
niches for statues, decreasing in height as the arch 
rises ; above the doorway is an elegant window, 
divided by four principal mullions terminating in a 
pointed arch, the tracery of which is light, and col- 
lected at the summit into a wheel. The stone work 
of the whole window yet remains perfect. Above 
this window are nine niches, and two in each but- 
tress, intended for the statues of our Saviour and 


his apostles. On the west side of this window 
stands a monk, with a band across his breast, on 
which is written, u Cum venit Jesus sequitur cessabit 
umbra"* On the east side stands another monk, 
holding a similar band about his breast, on which is 
inscribed, " Passus est quia ipse voluit"f To the 
westward of this entrance, upon the angle of the tran- 
sept, is a buttress with niches, on which there is the 
figure of a cripple, mounted on the back of another 
figure that is blind. These figures are admirably cut. 
One would imagine from the very appearance of the 
blind monk, that he is suffering severely from the 
weight of the other he carries on his back, while again 
the face of the cripple is expressive of the liveliest 

In the south wall of the nave are eight beautiful win- 
dows which light as many chapels, and between each 
is a buttress, which rises in a pinnacle above the wall. 
On each of these buttresses are niches, in which one 
figure at least has stood. The westmost five pin- 
nacles have been destroyed. Besides the pinnacles of 
the outer buttresses, there are also similar pinnacles 
rising through the roof from the inner wall of the 
chapels, to a height of several feet. Between these 
pinnacles are flying buttresses above the roof also 
beautifully executed. On the six buttresses and pin- 
nacles yet standing entire, are several niches with 
elegantly cut figures. One of these contain the Vir- 

* Jesus having come the shadow will cease, 
t He suffered because he himself was willing 


gin and her Son. On each side of her are four small 
niches vacant, supposed once to have contained the 
figures of guardian angels. The images are beauti- 
fully carved, but nothing can surpass the elegance of 
the canopy which covers the Virgin and her Son. It 
is executed with such nicety of art, that the beholder 
cannot help thinking it almost impossible that the 
various delicate members could have been chiseled 
by the hands of man out of the rude block. The 
sculpture displayed here far excels the other parts 
of the abbey in richness and delicacy ; it is equal to 
fine lace, and may compete with the strokes of the 
pencil, wielded by a skilful master. Near to the 
Virgin stands St. Andrew with a cross in his hand. 

The staircase pinnacle is ornamented with several 
niches, with beautiful pedestals and delicately finished 
canopies. On the summit are flowers ; also elegantly 
carved heads of animals to conduct the water from the 
top. There are also exquisitely finished heads of hu- 
man beings, with leaves and roses growing from their 
mouths. On the east there is a beautiful projecting 
window, 57 feet high, and 28 feet wide, supported on 
each side by double buttresses, with lofty pinnacles. 
It consists of four mullions, with curious work be- 
tween, for the support of the very fine workmanship. 
On each side of the window there are a number of 
niches, in some of which are the remains of statues, 
and others are demolished. On the apex of the win- 
dow are two figures in a sitting posture, one, that of 
an old man with a globe resting on his knee, and the 
other, that of a youth surmounted by a crown. Vari- 


ous conjectures have been hazarded as to the identity 
of these figures, but the most reasonable is that the 
figures are meant to represent the zealous founder of 
the abbey and his youthful son. The niches and cano- 
pies of this window are curiously carved. On the 
latter are representations of animals in miniature, 
and under some of the statues are the figures of men 
cut, some with their legs crossed, others leaning on 
one knee, with one of their hands behind their back 
to support the burden ; the very muscles of the neck 
are starting with the great weight they at one time 
carried. Sir Walter Scott, in describing a moonlight 
view of this part of the building, says : 

" The moon on the east oriel shone 

Through slender shafts of shapely stone. 

By folinged tracery combined j 
Thou would'st have thought some fairy's hand, 
'Tvvixt poplars straight, the osier wand 
In many a freakish knot bad twined ; 
Then framed a spell when the work was done, 
And changed the willow wreaths to stone. "• 

In the north and south wall of this projection are 
two other windows nearly as high, but not so wide as 
the eastern window, consisting only of three mullions. 

On the north side of the church there are several 
windows beautifully executed, and well worthy the at- 
tention of the lovers of antiquity. In the gable wall of 
the transept is a small wheel or rose window near the 
summit, finely moulded with a circle in the centre. 
The entrance door from the cloisters to the church is 

• Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto ii. 11. 


on this side, close by the west wall of the transept, 
and of as highly finished workmanship as is in the 
whole building. It is a half-circle arch of many mem- 
bers. The fillet of foliage and flowers is of the highest 
finish that can be conceived to be executed in free- 
stone, the same being pierced, the flowers and leaves 
separated from the stone behind, and suspended in a 
twisted garland. Through this " steel-clenched pos- 
tern door" was William of Deloraine conducted by 
the ancient " Monk of St. Mary's Aisle." In the 
mouldings, pinnacle-work, and foliage of the seats 
which remain of the piazzas, there is as great excel- 
lence to be found as in any stone-work in Europe, 
for lightness, ease, and disposition. 

The interior of the church also presents much to 
admire. The roof is still standing, and rises high 

" On pillars lofty, and light, and small ; 

The keystone, that locked each ribbed aisle, 

Was a fleur-de-lys, or a quatre-feuille ; 

The corbells were carved grotesque and grim ; 

And the pillars, with clustered shafts so trim, 

With base and with capital flourished around, 

Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound."* 

On the north side of the cross are beautiful columns, 
with sculpture as fresh as if newly cut. The roof of 
the north side of the transept is completely gone ; but 
the columns which supported the roof are yet stand- 
ing. On the capitals of one of these columns is a 
finely carved hand of a man, holding a beautiful gar- 
land of roses, from which springs an arch. On the 
west side of the north part of the transept are sta- 

• Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto ii. 9. 



tues of Peter and Paul, the former with his right 
hand upon an open book, and in his left two keys ; 
the other with a sword in his hand. From the norih 
gable of the transept there is an entrance to a place 
called the Wax Cellar, where the tapers for the altar 
were kept. Near to this was a turnpike stair, which 
was demolished in 17o0. In the first step is said to 
have been a secret passage to a vault designed for 
concealing the valuable things of the abbey when the 
peaceful brethren were threatened with a hostile visit. 
The roof of the south end of the transept is still 
standing ; on one of the keystones of whicb is inscribed 
the abbreviations for " Jesus hominum salvutor." In 
the western wall of this part of the transept is a 
beautiful stair which winds to the top thereof. Above 
the stair door there is the figure of a compass with 
the following inscription : — 

M Sa gayes the compass ev'n about. 
So truth and luut do but doubt, 
Behold to the end.— John Murdo." 

On the south side of the same door there is an- 
other inscription in old English alphabet : — 

" John : Munow : sum : tym : callit : 
was : I : and : born : in : parysse : 
certainly : and : had : in : keping : 
al : mason : werk : of : santan 
droys : je : hye : kirk : of=gias 
gu : Meros : and : paslay : 
nyddys : dayll : and : of : gal way : 
Pray : to : god : and : mari : baith : 
And : sweet : sanct : John : to : keep : 
This : haly : kyrk : frae : skaith." 

This means nothing more than that Mr Marrow 


had charge of the mason work to keep it in repair. 
But even his stewardship must have been at a late 
period of the abbey. The slab on which the poetical 
effusion appears has been inserted in the wall at no 
very distant day, probably not long before the reforma- 
tion. From this stair have run roomy corridors around 
the whole church, protected by elegant balustrades. 

The columns and roof remaining of the nave and 
side aisles are of surpassing architecture. The 
columns are clustered with this peculiarity, that every 
alternate boltel has sharp moulding from base to 
capital. The appearance of the north aisle produces 
a fine effect when viewed from the east wall of the 
transept. The clusters of columns, with the inter- 
secting arches, resemble a forest of stately pines 
spreading their branches far on every side.* 

Mr Francis Drake of York, who visited the ruins 

* It is stated by Mr Miln that the buildings of this convent, with 
the gardens pertaining thereto, were all enclosed within a high wall 
of about a mile in circuit. There were several bridges over the dam, 
the foundations of which were to be seen in his day. At a place 
called the bakehouseyard, near the mill, there was an oven of excel- 
lent architecture, having several tiers of ovens above each other to a 
great height, and built with fine hewn stone. These ovens were 
taken down about 17 07. In ditching the bakehouseyard, about 1737, 
there was found a large kettle for brewing, and which was sold for 
£5 sterling. From the bakehouse there was a communication with 
other parts of the abbey, so high and large that two or three per- 
sons might easily walk abreast under it. In ditching any place within 
the convent, particularly near the church, the foundations of houses 
were discovered. Not only the monks had their houses there, but 
several gentlemen, retired from the world, built for themselves con- 
venient lodgings ; the ruins of one of these was to be seen in 1743, and 
culled Chisholm's tower. 


in 1742, says that it "has been the most exquisite 
structure of its kind in either kingdom. I wont say 
but other abbeys have been larger — such as St. Albans 
and some conventual churches more august, as Bever- 
ley ; but this of Maelrose is extravagantly rich in its 
imagery, niches, and all sorts of carving, by thfi best 
hands that Europe could produce at that time ; nay, 
there is such a profusion of nice chiselwork in foliage 
and flowers at the very top of the steeple, that it can- 
not be seen from the ground without the help of a 
glass. The capital of every pillar that supports the 
arches of the church, and the doors, are all hollowed 
with a small tool, being wreathed work of all sorts of 
flowers, such as you have at the entrance of your 
chapter house at York. Every brother has had a 
stall in the cloister, (now much demolished,) which, 
have been variously adorned with the leaves of fern, 
oak, palm, holly, or some other kind of trees."* 

Hutchinson, who made an excursion to Melrose in 
1776, was enraptured with the beauty of the ruins of 
the structure, which he says is not excelled in Europe. 
" Nature is studied through the whole, and the flowers 
and plants are represented as accurately as under the 
pencil. In this fabric are the finest lessons, and the 
greatest variety of Gothic ornaments that the island 
affords — take all the religious structures together."*!* 

• Letter to the late Roger Gale, Esq., July 14, 1742, printed in 
Hutchinson's View of Northumberland, vol. ii., p. 283. 

t Ibid, p. 287. In Mr Hutchinson's able work the ruins are elabo- 
rately described, interwoven with serious thoughts and profound reflec- 
tions. On his description every later account of the abbey seems to 
be founded. A better guide could not have been chosen. 


On carefully examining this beautiful building, it is 
apparent that the architecture belongs to a very dif- 
ferent era than that which gave birth to the vener- 
able pile which graces the romantic banks of the Jed. 
We are induced to believe that this abbey was not 
erected till after the succession wars. At that time 
the original building was entirely destroyed by the 
revengeful Edward. The whole building seems to 
have been erected at one time, as no trace of any 
joinings of the mason work are to be observed ; and we 
are warranted in believing that the old structure was 
taken down to its very foundations by the fraternity 
of masons who were engaged to construct the present 
building, by the favourite warrior who gave peace to 
Scotland, after her soil had been drenched in blood 
for a period of 6*0 years. The grant by king Robert 
was made in 1326, and it must have been long after 
that period before this building could by any possibi- 
lity have been erected. 

Within the abbey lie the mortal remains of many 
who have been famed for their gallantry in the battle 
field ; and of others who have grown old in the cause 
of religion. History tells us that Alexander II. was 
buried before the high altar, with the following in- 
scription on the wall : 

«* Ecclesiae chpeus, pax plebis dux meserorum, 
Rex rectus, regidus sapiens consultus honestus ; 
Rex pius, rex fortis rex optimus, rex opulentus 

Nominis istius ipse secundus erat. 
Annis ter denis & quinis rex fuit ipse 
Insula quae Carried dicitur nunc rapuit 
Spiritus alta petit, caelestibus, associatus 
Sed Melrossensis ossa sepulta tenent." 


Several writers have expressed their surprise that 
no such inscription now appears ; but they would 
have ceased to wonder had they reflected for a mo- 
ment on the fact, that this abbey was totally destroyed 
after the death of that good king, and that not one 
stone or fragment of the original building now remains. 
This opinion is fully established from the fact, that 
the tomb of Johanna, the queen of Alexander II., 
lies beneath the entrance to the wax cellar, and the 
stone is in such a way as shows conclusively, that it 
must have been placed there before the gable of the 
transept was built. There are also several other 
stones, the ends of which are beneath the wall of the 
present building, and there can be little doubt that 
they cover the remains of those who were placed 
there long before the existence of the present buil- 
ding. It is highly probable, too, that the ashes of 
Alexander II. repose near his beloved queen; and if 
we are to admit of this conjecture, than which nothing 
is more likely, we are necessarily led to the conclusion 
that the situation of the abbey has been also some- 
what altered, and the spot on which the north .wall 
of the transept now stands was formerly occupied by 
the high altar. At all events, there can be no doubt 
whatever that the north gable of the transept is 
built on part of the tomb of Johanna, the queen of 
Alexander II., who died about the middle of the 
thirteenth century ; and therefore the present struc- 
ture must have been raised after that period. Nei- 
ther Miln, Hutchinson, nor Bower seem to have been 
aware of this very important fact, which reconciles 


history, and shows that the abbey, when it was re- 
built by the generosity of Robert I., must have been 
taken down to its very foundations. 

We may only mention one fact which we conceive 
to be a strong circumstance in favour of the opinion, 
that this architecture cannot be above 400 years old, 
and that is, that throughout the whole abbey there 
is not a tombstone bearing an earlier inscription than 
after the reign of Robert I. ; but after that period the 
inscriptions are both distinct and numerous. 

Mr Miln, thinks that Waldevus or Waltheof, is 
also buried in this part of the abbey, and that a fine 
marble slab, which is seen, covers the remains of this 
holy man, but this idea is not at all probable, because 
we are informed that the body of this abbot, who 
died in 1159, was interred in the chapter house along 
with other abbots, and that in 1 240, the remains of all 
the abbots who were buried there were removed to a 
place at the east of the building, except the remains 
of St. Waltheof. The marble stone which is shown 
as covering the body of St. Waltheof, cannot cover 
the remains of that canonized priest, unless we are to 
suppose the place to have been of old the chapter 
house of the establishment. " Eodem anno levata 
sunt ossa abbatum de Melros que jacebant in introitu 
capatuli, et in orientali parte ejusdem capatuli de- 
cencius sunt tumulata ; praeter ossa venerablis patris 
nostri Walleui, cujus sepulcrum apertum fuit et corpus 
ejus incineratum inventum, ex quo qui affuerunt ex 
minutis ossibus secum asportaverunt, et reliqua in pace 
dimiserunt. Aderat ibi prsesens miles bone oppinio- 


nis, dictus Giliellmus filius comitis, nepos domini regis ; 
hie dentem precibus obtinuit, per quern, ut ipse postea 
retulit, infirmi multa secuti sunt beneficia. 11 * 

The gallant family of the Douglas find here a 
place to sleep in peace. Earl William, and his son, 
who fell at the battle of Otterburn, lie buried here. 
The remains of this gallant chief were conveyed from 
the field where he breathed his last amidst the shouts 
of victory, by his brave companions in arms to Mel- 
rose, where they were deposited in the most solemn 
manner, and with the greatest military pomp. The 
flower of chivalry, the Lord of Liddesdale, was also 
buried here, as well as a great many chieftains of 
renown, such as De Valoniis, Vausses of Dirlton, So- 
mervilles, Balfours, and others. King Charles II., 
Bishop of Argyle, David Fletcher, is here interred. It 
is the burial place of the Pringles of Whitbank, and 
Galashiels. The race of the Kers of Yair lie on 

• Chronica de Mailros, p. 1 51 ; edition printed by the Bannatyne Club, 
Edinburgh, 1835. The above extract may be read : — " In the same 
year the bones of the abbots of Melrose, which lay in the entrance of 
the chapter house, were raised and entombed more decently in the 
east part of the same chapter house ; except the bones of our vener- 
able Father Wallerius, whose sepulchre was opened, and his body 
found to have crumbled to ashes, of which, those who were present 
took away with them some of the small bones, and the rest were left 
in peace. There was present on this occasion a soldier of good re- 
pute, named William, the son of an Earl, and the grandson of our 
Lord the King.* He »at his earnest entreaty obtained a tooth, 
through the efficacy of which as he himself afterwards alleged, the 
infirm received many benefits." 

• Supposed to be William, second son of Patrick, fifth Earl of Dunbar. 
His mother was Ada, one of the natural daughters of King William. 


the northside of the church. In 1812, a tomb was 
discovered in a small aisle to the north of the altar, 
on which was engraved a St. John's cross. The 
skeleton found within measured six feet, and was sup- 
posed to belong to the archwizard, whose words 
" Cleft Eildon hills in three, and bridled the Tweed 
with a curb of stone," and who was buried on St. 
Michael's night. 

" Wben the bell tolled one, and the moon was bright ; 
And I dug his chamber among the dead, 
When the floor of the chancel was stained red, 
That his patron's cross might over him wave, 
And scare the fiends from the wizard's grave."* 

Near the same place was discovered a well executed 
stone tomb, the cover of which shows it to contain 
the ashes of Sir Ralph Ivers, who fell at the battle of 
Ancrum moor in 1545. The south aisle also contains 
the ashes of many persons of note. The first chapel 
to the west is the burying ground of a family of the 
name of Bowston of Gattonside, said to be descended 
from the Carmelite friar who was taken prisoner at 
Bannockburn. The friar had been brought by Ed- 
ward to celebrate his victory in song, but he fell into 
the hands of the Scottish king, by whom he was com- 
pelled to tune his lyre to a different strain. He ob- 
tained the grant of some property in Gattonside, and 
was afterwards married to a daughter of the abbot 
Durie. The second chapel holds the ashes of the 
family of Rae ; the third that of Hallyburton ; in the 

• Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto 11, 15. 

322 roxnuRGHSHiRE. 

eighth an inscription shows that Peter the treasurer, 
had here found a resting place. In every part of the 
abbey the ashes of the dead are deposited : " we never 
tread upon them, but we set our foot on some re- 
verend history." 

It is thought that the best view of the abbey is 
obtained from the southeast corner of the church- 
yard ; but 

'• If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright, 

Go visit it by the pale moonlight ; 

For the gay beams of lightsome day 

Gild, but to flout, the ruins gray. 

When the broken arches are black in night, 

And each shafted oriel glimmers white ; 

When the cold light's uncertain shower 

Streams en the ruined central tower: 

When buttress, and buttress alternately, 

Seemed framed of ebon and ivory ; 

When silver edges the imagery, 

And the scrolls that teach thee to live and die ; 

When distant Tweed is heard to rave, 

And the owlet to hoot o'er the dead man's grave, 

Then go — but go alone Ihe while — 

Then view St. David's ruined pile ; 

And, home returning, soothly swear, 

"Was never scene so sad and fair !"• 

This abbey suffered severely during the border 
conflicts. In 1303, Hugh Audley, one of the officers 
of the English king, having taken up his quarters at 
the abbey, Cumyn, the guardian of Scotland, made an 
attack on him during the night, forced the gates of the 
abbey, and slew several of his followers. Sir Thomas de 

* The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto ii. 1, 


Gray, a brave English officer, retired into a house 
near the convent, which he defended till it was fired. 
In 1-322, Edward, the English king, entered the abbey, 
slew the prior, William de Peebles, and some of his 
monks, and cast forth the host on the great altar. 
Eighteen years afterwards, Edward held his Christmas 
in the abbey, where he stopt for sometime. In 1544, 
Eurie and Laiton pillaged the monastery. What 
the frequent wars, and the dilapidations of impro- 
vidence left, suffered from the Reformers in 1569, 
and in 1649 the statues were further demolished. 
Tradition says, that one of those engaged in the 
work of destruction received his punishment on the 
spot, for while " striking at the Babe in the Virgin's 
arms, a piece of stone fell on his arm, which he 
never had the use of afterwards."* 

* The demolition of statues, it is said, took place while Mr David 
Fletcher was minister of the parish. He was at one time second 
minister of St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, and while there was zealous 
for episcopacy, and was one of those who sent the information, men- 
tioned by Burnet in his Memoirs, to the archbishop of St. Andrews, 
then at London. When he arrived at Melrose, he was as zealous for 
presbytery. In 1662, on Charles II. being restored, he was made 
bishop of Argyle, through the influence of Sir John Fletcher, who 
was then king's advocate. He died in 1665. — Milus Melrose, page 
42. Perhaps Mr Fletcher was not personally concerned in the de- 
molition of the images which had been set up by the founders of the 
religious house, and the monks. An act was passed for demolishing 
cloisters, and abbey churches, and the execution thereof entrusted to 
certain noblemen who were held most zealous against Romanism. 
The Reformers were blamed for much which they did not do. 
Melrose abbey furnished stones for the building of a prison, the re- 
pair of the mills and sluices, and the building of private dwellings. 
Oil this subject the worthy minister of Melrose quaintly remarks: — 


When Hutchinson visited the place in 1776, he 
found part of the ruins converted into a parish church, 
and in such a condition as to defy " all language to 
give it a description superior to every thing But in- 
congruities of a bedlamite's disordered fancy."* A 
new church was built in 1810 on a neighbouring 
height, "and the abbey is left to the solitude and 
silence best becoming its dismantled state, and that 
of the fallen faith of which it is the monument." 

The publication of the Lay of the Last Minstrel 
carried the fame of this hallowed spot to 

" Lands that af;ir do lie 

'Neath a sunnier day and bluer sky ;" 

and every year hosts of pilgrims visit St. Mary's sa- 
cred shrine. 

A number of fine views have been published of 
these ruins, and they are also found illustrated in 
Mr Billings"' admirable work on the Baronial and 
Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland. 

We have now finished a few brief notices of the 
churches of Teviotdale, which, it will be observed, 
are — like most of the ancient churches — built • on a 
ground plan in the form of a cross. Originally, the 

" The people here have a superstitious conceit, that the bailies who 
give orders for the pulling down of any part of it do not long continue 
in their office; and of this they give many instances, as in the Com- 
mendator and others, though the same that make this remark have no 
scruple to take these stones for their own houses." The people of 
Melrose have not acted otherwise than the burghers of Jedburgh and 
the vassals of Kelso. Even at this day the spirit is not extinct. 
• Hutchinson's View of Northumberland, vol. ii. p. 293. 


christian temples were oblong,* but in progress of 
time the parallelogram was intersected by a shorter 
limb, and the whole arrangement such as we see ex- 
hibited in all its purity in the abbey of Jedburgh. — 
It is said that they were erected in this form to dis- 
tinguish them from the heathen temples, which were 
generally of a circular shape, but the exact period of 
the introduction of the cruciform ichnography is not 
ascertained. It is probable that churches of this 
form were coeval with the christian era. When the 
early missionaries travelled across the land, they 
carried the figure of the cross with them, and when 
they spoke to the unlettered inhabitants of our wastes, 
the symbol of man's redemption was erected on the 
spot. It was at first of wood, and afterwards was 
formed of stone, and surmounted the monuments of 
the pagans. The crosier staff, which assisted these 
courageous missionaries iri their perilous journeys, 
resembled a cross at the head, and was shod with 
iron.-f- The same symbol was seen at the entrance to 

* Old Jedworth Church is supposed to have been on this plan. 

t The barbarians, as they were called, are said not to have been 
reluctant hearers. So anxious did they look and listen that, when 
one of the first preachers of Christianity struck unwittingly the iron- 
shod end of the crosier through the foot of one of the princes, the 
latter bore the pain with fortitude, from the belief that it was a sam- 
ple of the truths the other came to teach. Betle affirms that, when 
St. Austin arrived with the commission of Pope Gregory, to convert 
the natives of this island, and was summoned to appear before Ethel- 
bert, king of Kent, he and his companions approached the royal pre- 
sence, armed " not with any diabolical or magical art, but with a 
divine power before them--a silver cross for their banner, and a pic- 
ture of our Lord and Saviour painted on a board." 


the hermit's cell, and wherever these holy men wan- 
dered, crosses were erected either of wood or stone, 
meaning thereby, that they had taken possession of 
the land in the name of Jesus Christ — that where- 
ever these were planted the pagan rites had yielded 
to the ensign of the gospel. It was natural that the 
missionaries, when they got a firm footing in the 
land, and began to build churches, that these should 
be made in the form of a cross, with the view of help- 
ing to impress the history and hopes of Christianity on 
the understandings of the rude inhabitants of the dis- 
trict. Such, it is probable, was the origin of the sa- 
cred form of our early churches. 

As time rolled onwards Crosses were found in al- 
most every corner of the land. They were used for 
marking the boundaries of the property of the church, 
and ultimately pointed out the divisions of private 
lands. A cross was also used to point out the scene 
of a great battle, a murder, or any important event ; 
and in the palmy days of the church, the symbol of 
Christianity was to be found in graveyards, at places 
where a corpse had rested on its way to interment, 
and at the junction of streets, or roads. Every 
market-place had its cross for the purpose of preach- 
ing, prayer and proclamation. In this district few of 
of these crosses are now to be seen. The same spirit 
that laid abbeys in ruins demolished many a cross. 
In the burgh of Jedburgh a cross stood in the market- 
place from early times to a late period. In towns, crosses 
were generally erected over or near to a playing foun- 
tain, and the intent of planting them in the place where 


the market was held, " was to excite public homage 
to the religion of Christ crucified, and to inspire men 
with a sense of morality and piety amidst the ordi- 
nary transactions of life. 11 It is certain that the cross 
existed in the market-place of Jedburgh at the end 
of the sixteenth century, and it is more than probable 
that it occupied the same position at the beginning of 
the last century. While we have not such informa- 
tion in regard to its form as to enable us to describe 
it exactly, we know that it was ascended by steps, 
and consisted of a tall shaft, and the whole sur- 
mounted with a unicorn. Part of it, with the unicorn 
nearly entire, was lately discovered under a heap of 
rubbish in a cell at the foot of the old steeple. What 
is supposed to have been part of the shaft, used to 
stand at the junction of the Bongate road with the 
Edinburgh turnpike, but it has somehow or other 
disappeared. It is regretted that the Jedburgh cross 
should have been removed, even though the access to 
the streets was thereby improved. Who can help 
lamenting the demolition of the time-worn memorial, 
associated with the history of the burgh from its first 
erection. Were it only for what took place at it in 
1571, it ought to have been held sacred. At that 
time a pursuivant was sent from the newly-erected 
authority in Edinburgh to proclaim their letters in 
Jedburgh, which had always been favourable to the 
young king. On his arrival he mounted the cross, and 
proceeded to read the letters to the multitude con- 
gregated on the streets, who, although not acknow- 
ledging the authority that sent the herald, heard him 


patiently till he came to that part which bore that the 
lords assembled in Edinburgh had found all things 
done and proceeded against the queen null, and that 
all men should obey her only ; but no sooner had he 
uttered these words than a storm of popular feeling 
arose, and the provost, who was present, after abusing 
the queen in no very delicate terms, caused him to 
come down from the cross, and made him eat the 
letters he had partly read. And in order that the 
herald might be paid his wages, unloosed his points, 
and strapped him with part of a bridle rein. Buc- 
cleuch and Ferniherst threatened to revenge such an 
affront put upon their authority, and marched upon 
the burgh with 3000 men ; but the burghers, aided 
by the laird of Cessford, offered battle on Bongate 
haugh, which the supporters of the queen declined, 
and retired into the neighbouring fastnesses. No 
doubt many strange scenes have been enacted at the 
cross of Jedburgh : 

" But now is razed that monument, 

Whence royal edict rang, 
And voice of Scotland's law was sent 

In glorious trumpet clang : 
O be his tomb as lead to lead, 
Upon its dull destroyer's head !— 

A minstrel's malison is said."* 

In the village of Ancrum, which is situated in a 
bend of the Ale river, is at present to be seen a cross 
standing in the middle of the village green. It con- 

* Marmion. 


sists of a tall shaft of stone, but its top is dilapidated 
by time, and otherwise so injured as to render it impos- 
sible to say, with any degree of safety, what kind of a 
termination it has had originally. It is conceived 
that the cross was surmounted by the unicorn. The 
ascent to it is by several steps. It is said in the Sta- 
tistical Account of the parish in which the cross is 
situated, that " one of the most learned architectural 
antiquaries of the present day thinks it may be pro- 
nounced as old as the reign of Alexander III."* Al- 
though the date of the erection cannot be determined, 
there is nothing to militate against the idea that it is 
as old as the days of the king alluded to ; on the con- 
trary, it is as likely to have been erected by the 
saintly David, on getting possession of the district 
south of the Forth. The town of Ancrum existed at 
a very early period ; and we find that when David 
made an enquiry into the churches of Teviotdale in 
1116, Ancrum appears in the list of the churches be- 
longing to the bishopric of Glasgow. It is probable, 
that at this time the cross was erected by that good 
king ; or it may have been set up with the view of 
designating the locality as the property of the church. 
Many of the charters of the bishops of Glasgow are 
dated at Ancrum, where they had a palace, the re- 
mains of which, it is said, now form part of the man- 
sion of Sir William Scott.f There seems, however, 

• New Statistical Account of the Parish of Ancrum. 
f Morton's Monastic Annals, p. 21. — In the preface to the 
Register of Glasgow it is observed, that " it is a remarkable proof 


330 HOxnuRGiisniRtt. 

room for doubt as to the identification of the site of 
the rural palace of the bishops. William de Bond- 
ington, who succeeded to the bishopric in 1233, and is 
said to have been a native of the borders, resided 
much at Ancrum, where he died in 1258.* Consider- 
ing everything, it is not the least likely that the erec- 
tion of the cross was subsequent to this period. We 
are inclined to think it as early as David's day, when 
churches and the sacred symbol of the christian faith 
arose in every corner of the district. 

The village of Bowden has also its memorial of the 
olden time standing in the middle of the green. The 
Ckoss is similar to the one at Ancrum. They, no 
doubt, belong to the same period, and arose under 

of the peaceful state of the borders in the middle of the thirteenth 
century, that we find Bishop Bondington making his usual residence 
at his house of Ancrum, in " pleasant Teviotdale," a place still hear- 
in? marks of old cultivation, and where a portion of the building, and 
until lately some remains of an antique garden, might, without vio- 
lence, be attributed to its old episcopal masters," p. 58. But the 
example furnished by the learned editor of the Register of Glasgow 
does not afford a safe criterion to judge of the state of the borders at 
that period. In those days the robes of the priest often covered the 
mail of the warrior, and none knew better than the holy fathers how to 
take care of themselves. It appears that the bishop's residence at An- 
crum was something more than a rural palace. Lord Dacre, when 
he visited the iocaiity in 1513, found it "a castle." The bishop 
was also in the very locality where he could best learn the art of gar- 
dening. Horticulture was first cultivated in this country within the 
walls of Jedburgh castle. 

• The bi>hop obtained from Ralf Burnard " a right to fuel in his 
peataries of Faringdon, for the use of his house of Alncrumbe, to 
himself and his successors for ever." —Register of Glasgow, No. 1 15. 
Note to (he Preface thereof, page 29. 


kindred circumstances. Bowden, like Ancrum, be- 
longed to the church from a very early day. In the 
twelfth century the religious house of Kelso had a 
large establishment here, and cultivated the soil 
around by their husbandmen and cottagers.* 

At the village of Maxton, which is situated on the 
south bank of the river Tweed, is the shaft of an an- 
cient stone Cross standing in front of a few poor cot- 
tages. This place, which is said to have been at one 
time so populous as to be able to send out 1000 
fighting men, is now reduced to the size of little more 
then an ordinary farm steading. The fragment of 
the sacred symbol is the only remnant of the former 
importance of the town. While other towns have 
laid the crosses which stood in their market-places 
in ruins for the purposes of convenience and improve- 
ment, the plough has past over the greater part of 
Maxton. The broken mouldering cross is a fit ac- 

* Lib. of Kelso.— From the various chartularies glimpses are 
obtained of the habits of the people of that day. In the reign of 
Alexander III. the Kelso monks had here '28 husbandmen, 3d cotta- 
gers, a mill, and four brewhouses. The husbandmen possessed each 
husbandland, (26 acres where plow and scythe may gang,) with com- 
mon pasture, for which they paid a rent of 6s. 8d., with services. 
Each cottager had half-an-acre of land, with common pasture, for 
about Is. 6d. yearly. The mill rented for eight merks. Four brew- 
houses let for 10s. each, and the brewers were bound to furnish the 
abbot with a lagon-and-a-half of ale for a penny. A lagon-and-a- 
half is about 7 quarts. Each house provided a hen at Christmas for 
a halfpenny. It is curious to observe, that it was with the view of 
protecting vassals and tenants from the burden of entertaining their 
superiors, while travelling from one place to another, that laws were 
afterwards passed, enforcing the keeping of pablic houses. 


companiment to the ruined town. Robert de Berk- 
ley, and his wife Cecilia, were proprietors of Maxton 
during the twelfth century, and both loved the church 
well. During the reign of William the Lion, they 
bestowed a portion of it on the church of Mel- 
rose, and also granted the use of their quarry at 
Alwerdine for the erection of the buildings of the 
house of Melrose. Hugh de Normanville, the son- 
in-law of Berkley, also contributed to that religious 

In the market-place of Melrose stands a Cross of 
a shape similar to the one we have already describ- 
ed, as occupying a situation in the village green at 
Ancrum. The unicorn once surmounted the cross, 
but that gave place to the mallet and rose about the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, when the mo- 
nastery and part of its property were erected into a 
temporal lordship in favour of viscount Haddington. 
Round the base of the shaft are several steps. There 
can be little doubt entertained, that, like Ancrum, 
this cross owes its existence to about the twelfth cen- 
tury. To maintain this cross in repair, it is said that 
a grant was made of a piece of land called the 
" Corserig? Such grants were usual at that period. 
The kings, noblemen and wealthy citizens of that early 
day, were liberal in their offerings to chapels, altars, 
and crosses. Sermons were generally preached on 
certain days of the year at these crosses, and of the 
friars who preached, the same class were the liberal 
benefactors. It was around this cross that the great 
novelist makes the monks of St. Mary assemble, when 


they were visited by the celebrated earl of Murray.* 
On the summit of a rising ground there formerly 
stood another cross, where " whoso list might kneel 
down and pray." This cross is said to have been one 
of the four crosses of the abbey, where persons who 
came from the south obtained the first glimpse of the 
church, which contained the bones of the holy Walt- 
heof, bowed, and said their prayers. The early use of 
crosses in this district may be learned from the dis- 
pute between the two houses of Melrose and Kelso, 
in regard to the line of inarch between the property 
of Melrose and Bowden. David I. granted to Mel- 
rose the lands of that name, Eldun and Dernwic ; to 
the monks of Kelso he gifted Middleham, Bothenden, 
and Aeldon. The differences between the two houses 
were finally adjusted by king William in 1204, and 
the boundaries of these properties denned. The de- 
cision was in favour of Kelso, and the line pointed 
out runs by a number of crosses, which seem to have 
existed previously, probably at the time David be- 
stowed the lands on the monks.* 

• The Monastery, vol ii.. p. 340. 

f The line of march was declared to be " from the ford of Bouii» 
denburne, which is between the bounds of Lessedwyn and Bouildene, 
as far as the cross, which is situated between Wytherig and Hare- 
carleche, and thence as far as the white thorn, which is situated in 
Wyterig, and thence northwards to Akedene, and ascending as far as 
the cross, near the green fosse, and by the green fosse, as far as the 
cross, which is placed above Sprouisdene, and then ascending to the 
fountain near the white thorn, as the stream from the same fountain 
descends, and thence by Famileye, to the willows and crosses, and 
ditches, which have been placed in the middle of the hill, to the top 
of the same, on which king David caused the ditches to be made, and 


At stated intervals the marches of the monastery 
lands were visited by the monks in procession order, 
who rested at each cross till a prayer was said, or a 
verse sung. 

In the virgin Mary's chapel at Stow, it is said a 
fragment of the real cross, brought by King Arthur 
from the Holy Land, was long preserved with great 
veneration. The church of Stow had the privilege 
of Sanctuary,* and the Black Priest of that place en- 
joyed the privilege of the clan Macduff. -f* 

At Milnholm, on the west bank of the Liddel, 
there is a cross formed of a single shaft of stone, 
eight feet four inches high, set in a base of one foot 
eight inches. On the southside of the cross, a sword 
four feet long is carved. Tradition relates that the 
cross marks the spot where the corpse of one of the 
Armstrongs of Mangerton, who had been murdered 

thence descending westward to the place called Derebly, and thence 
by the divided wood, and by the crosses, and ditches, and oaks mark- 
ed with crosses, as far as the lake beneath Blakelaune, and from that 
-lake to another, and from thence descending by the rivulet of Hol- 
dene, as far as the Tweed." 

• The council of Claremont held in 1093, by the 29 and 39 canons, 
decreed " that if any person should fly to a cross in the road, while 
pursued by his enemies, he should remain free as in the church itself;" 
and, in Normandy, " if any one condemned escape to a church ceme- 
try, or holy place, lay justice shall leave him in peace, by the privi- 
lege of the church, as if it had not laid hands on him." In this 
country such privileges were onl}' enjojed by royal charter. 

f If any one allied to Mucduff, earl of Fife, within the ninth de- 
gree, touched a cross — which marked the boundaij between File and 
Strathern, inscribed with verses, setting forth its peculiar privileges 
— and gave nine cows and a heifer, he should be acquitted of the 
crime of manslaughter. 


by the governor of Hermitage Castle, rested on its 
way to Ettleton grave-yard, on the hill above.* The 
cross stands nearly opposite to Mangerton tower. It 
is said that a cross was erected over the chiefs grave, 
but it does not now exist. A large heap of stones on 
the hillside seems, from the broken' fonts, shafts of 
crosses, and carved crosses on tombstones, mingled 
together, to be the remains of the little chapel, where 
the rude inhabitants of the border worshipped. On 
many of the older tombstones in the grave-yard, 
we noticed the names of Murray, Armstrong, Elliot, 
Bryson, and Turnbull, men who, while they lived, had 
often joined a foray, and welcomed a full moon as a 
benefactor, now sleep together in peace. The Ettleton 
grave-yard, on the bleak and lone hillside, is a suitable 
resting place for the ashes of the wild men of the 
west marches. 

Above five years ago, a stone, nearly four feet long, 
with a cross rudely sculptured on it, was found in the 

* Statistical Account of he Parish of Castleton, vol. xvi, p. 36. 
Chambers's Picture of Scotland : Mackie's Castles, &c , of Queen 
Mary, 325. The Minister's account of it is, — " One of the gover- 
nors of Hermitage castle, some saj' Lord Soulis, others Lord Doug- 
las, having entertained a passion for a young woman in the lower part 
of the parish, went to her house, and was met by her father, who, 
wishing to conceal his daughter, was instantly killed by the governor. 
He was soon pursued by the people, and in extreme danger took re- 
fuge with Armstrong of Mangerton, who had influence enough to 
prevail on the people to desist from Ihe pursuit, and by this means 
saved his life. Seemingly, with a view to make a return for this fa- 
vour, but secretly jealous of the power and influence of Armstrong, 
he invited him to Hermitage castle, where he was basely murdered. 
He himself was killed by Jock of the Side, of famous memory, brother 
to Armstrong." 


mountain pass near Singdean, and is now, we believe, 
in the possession of Mr Stavert of Saughtree. It ap- 
pears to have been part of a memorial cross, but 
tradition is altogether silent in regard to it. 

We have now to notice another memorial standing 
on the top of Lilliard's Edge, and said to be erected 
near the spot where a lady of that name fell fighting 
in the Scottish ranks, at the battle of Ancrum moor, 
in 1545.* The stone standing at present is evidently 
a modern erection, and resembles an ordinary tomb- 
stone. On it is the following inscription : — 

" Fair maid Lilliard lies under this stane, 

Little was her stature, hut great was her fame ; 

On the English louns she laid many thumps, 

And when her legs were cuten off she fought on her stumps." 

There seems to have been another stone on which 
the above inscription is said to have been cut, but 
which was broken in pieces previous to the middle of 
last century. In the answers made to " Maitland's 
queries" in 1743, we find it stated that the monument 
was then destroyed, and that the inhabitants of that 
day were indebted to tradition for the words of the 
inscription. It is doubtful if ever any monument' was 
erected to the memory of the maiden who acted so 

• The tradition is, that a young female, belonging to the town of 
Maxton, having lost her relations and lover when Evers destroyed her 
native village, swore to revenge their death, and accordingly she 
joined the army of the Scots, and performed deeds of valour. She 
was buried where she fell, near to the edge of the Roman road, and 
at a little distance from the top of the ridge in the plantation running 
along the line of said road, near to where the plantation on the top 
of the ridge meets the other going over the hill northwards. 


brave a part on that well-contested field. We do not 
wish to disturb the popular belief that a female fought 
in the ranks of the Scottish army on that day, but we 
think that there are good reasons for doubting whe- 
ther the early stone seen at that place was erected to 
her memory. Even the name of the person, whose 
fall is said to have been so honored, is open to ques- 
tion. The site of the stone is upon the edge of the 
Roman way, which there passes the summit of the 
ridge. It occupies the exact position of the mile- 
stones which these people were in the habit of setting 
up on the edges of their military ways, and it is 
probable, that this so-called monument was a stone 
of this kind ; but the original stone being destroyed, 
there is nothing to show that it really was a mile- 
stone. Another ground for thinking that the stone, 
said to have stood at this place, was not erected to a 
person who fell in 1545, is, that we find in that lo- 
cality a stone cross existing under the name of 
" Lyliofs Cross" nearly two hundred years before 
that period. A new war having broken out in France, 
the Scots, to favour the French people, quarrelled with 
the English at St. James's fair, and burnt the town. 
This affray having taken place during a subsisting 
truce between the two kingdoms, commissioners were 
appointed to enquire into, and remedy the grievances 
of the border subjects, and by whose fault the truce 
had been broken.* They met in October 1380, at 
Lyliofs Cross, Maxton, and Morehouselaw, but the 

• Rym, vol. vii, p. 406. Redpath's Border History, pp. 350, 351, 352. 


conferences were adjourned to Berwick, at which place 
it was agreed to meet at Ayton in the following June. 
The commissioners accordingly met, and after having 
continued the discussion for several days, agreed to 
hold another march day at Lyliofs Cross, on the first 
day of July 1383. At the time agreed upon they met 
at Lyliot's cross, and continued their conferences at 
Morehouselaw for ten days. There can hardly be a 
doubt that the broken stones, about one hundred 
years ago, were fragments of the Lyliofs Cross. It is 
important to notice, that at this time the English held 
Roxburgh, and nearly all Teviotdale. The top of the 
edge was therefore a convenient place for the meet- 
ing of the commissioners of either kingdom. Lyliofs 
Cross may have been erected by the monks of Melrose 
as one of their boundary stones, on their obtaining 
property in Morehouselaw, from Robert de Berk- 
ley, and his wife Cecilia, and in testimony of which 
gift a great stone was erected in Morric. But be thi3 
as it may, it is clear that the erection is of an earlier 
date than the period fixed by popular tradition. The 
place where the maiden fell is pointed out on the slope 
of the ridge, at a short distance from the spot where 
the stone is set up. It is easy to see how the cross 
came in the course of time to be associated with the 
maiden, who is said to have fallen in the battle. 
Being situated on the summit of the ridge, and 
a conspicuous object, it would form a guide-post 
to the grave, and in the lapse of years identified 
with it. 

The name Lilliard's Edge is thought to be a cor- 


ruption of Lilliesyates, denoting the locality, and not 
the name of the lady who fell in the conflict. 

A Cross, known by the name of the Heap Cross, 
stood at a place called Heap,* in the neighbourhood 
of the town of Hawick, and which is said to have con- 
tained the following inscription : 

" This is the place where Langlands slew 

The holy priest of Melrose ; 
And Langlands shall be of that ilk nae mair 

When time has levelled this cross." 

The cross was to be seen during the end of the last 
century, but it is now entirely destroyed; and a heap 
of stones mark the place where it stood. Tra- 
dition has preserved an account of the event which 
led to the erection of thi$ cross. It is said to have 
been planted there to point out the spot where Lang- 
lands of that ilk slew the abbot, or one of the monks 
of Melrose. The knight having refused to pay the 
tithe claimed by that religious house, it was agreed 
in the chapter that one of the monks should go on a 
special mission to him on the subject, and induce him 
to yield to their claims. The abbot, it is said, volun- 
teered to visit the refractory debtor, and accordingly 
proceeded to Hawick, and met Langlands at Heap, 
in the vicinity of the town. The abbot, after a brief 

• The place was called Hoip and Keip in 1616, and was the pro- 
perty of Robert Wauche. He was one of the assize who sat on the 
trial of " John Scott, alias callit Jok the Suklcr, sone to Thomas 
Scott, in Nether Braidlie." Pitcairn's Criminal Trials, vol. ii. p. 
474 ; vol. iii. p. 396.— The Waucbes seem also to have possessed this 
property in the end of the thirteenth century. Ragman's Rolls, p. 127. 



conversation, urged on his attention the object of his 
mission. The knight got into a passion and walked 
off, followed by the churchman insisting on the claims 
of his house. Langlands turned and touched the hilt 
of his sword ; but the clergy were not easily frightened 
in those days ; and the representative of Melrose, no- 
thing daunted by the fierce looks of the knight, de- 
clared himself to be the abbot, and boldly threatened 
the rebellious knight with the displeasure of the church 
for his refractory conduct. The knight, enraged to be 
thus followed and bearded, drew his sword and laid 
the abbot dead at his feet. Reflection made hint 
aware of his danger, and he applied to Douglas of 
Drumlanrig to aid him in his extremity, only telling 
that baron that he had knocked off the monk's bonnet. 
Douglas introduced him to the king as a faithful and 
loyal subject, and the knight sought the protection of 
his majesty, for having, as he said, " knocked off the 
bonnet of one of the monks of Melrose." The king, 
not looking upon the offence as one of a serious nature, 
at once freely awarded the protection asked, handed 
them a paper on which was the sign manual, and de- 
sired Drumlanrig to see the pardon duly extended. 
While the secretary was engaged in writing out the 
pardon, Langlands bribed him to add the " monk's 
head" to his " bonnet." On the king being made 
aware of the true nature of the occurrence, he enjoyed 
the joke. The monks were, however, sore displeased 
at the king granting a pardon to Langlands, but his 
majesty found means of propitiating them ; and ere 
long the tragical end of the monk was buried in ob- 


Hvion. Such are the circumstances as related by the 
tradition of the district.* 

At Denholm, situated on the banks of the Teviot, 
a Cross used formerly to stand in the village green, 
but the shaft is removed, and what was its base or 
pedestal is converted into a trough, out of which the 
cows of the villagers slake their thirst. 

Near Philliphaugh, " William's Crock" once stood, 
which tradition says marked the spot where one of 
the Douglas's fell by the hand of his relation, while 
hunting in the forest of Galsewood.-f- According to 
Godscroft, the body was carried the first night to 
Lindean kirk, a mile from Selkirk, on its way to 
Melrose abbey, where it was interred. About 1368 
earl Douglas granted to the monks, for the weal of 
the souls of certain persons, and especially for the 
soul of William de Laudonia, whose body lay before 
the altar of St. Bride, " all his lands of Penangushope 
and lower Caldcluch, with pertinents, in his barony 
of Cavers, according to the mode, form, rights, uses, 
and customs in all things, of their lands of Ringvvod- 
felde in the same barony, which lay adjacent to those 
of Penangushope and Caldcluch," on condition that 
one of the monks should regularly officiate at the 
altar of the St. Bride. 

• History of Hawick, p. 44. 

t The person slain is supposed to be William de Laudonia, and that 
he was put to death under instructions from Sir William Douglas, his 
father's nephew, and his own godson. Chalmers says he was worthy 
of death on account of his traitorous connexion with Edward III. 
Grave doubts exist as to the identity of the slain person.— Chalmers' 
Caledonia, vol. ii. p. 117, et seq. 


T a it's Cross occupied the summit of Kershope hill 
in the forest, but as to which tradition is silent. This 
place was famed for its ewe boughts. In 1722, it is 
said, there was to be seen at one view, boughted at 
Tait's Cross, upwards of 12,000 ewes about eight 
o'clock in the milking season. There was also the stone 
monument, called Craik Cross, at the head of theBorth- 
wick water, and on the boundary line between Eskdale 
and Selkirkshire. In this matter also tradition has fail- 
ed to hand down the origin of the cross. From this 
place, it is said, in a clear day, the walls of Berwick 
can be seen, a distance of 50 miles to the eastward. 

Such is all the information we have been enabled 
to gather of the Crosses of the olden time. There are 
symptoms in the present day of the symbol of the 
cross being again restored to favour. Besides the 
crosses which adorn the gables of the venerable pile 
which graces the south entrance to Jedburgh, they 
are to be found ornamenting the gables of the Free 
Church on the opposite margin of the stream, the 
Episcopal Chapel at the townfoot, and the Roman 
Catholic building which has arisen in the village of 
Bongate, within the territory which of old belonged 
to the monks of Jedburgh. At the towns of Kelso, 
Melrose, Galashiels, and Hawick, the cross is to be 
seen of recent erection. But " they deserve to err 
who will seek Christ not in inspired books, but on 
painted walls." 

The only other stone monument which we require 
to notice, is one on the south bank of the river Cayle 
at Haugh-head, near Grahamslaw. It consists of a 


mount of about 200 feet in circumference, formed of 
layers of earth and stone, and on the summit is a 
stone inscribed as follows :* 

" Here Hobby Hall boldly maintained his right 

'Gainst Reif, plain force, armed with lawless might, 
For Twenty Pleughs harness'd in all their Gear, 
Could not his valient Noble Heart make fear ; 
But with his sword he cut the formost soam 
In two : Hence drove both Pleughs and 
Pleughmen home." 1620. 

Tradition relates that it was Ker of Cessford who 
wanted to carry away the goods and gear of Hobby 
Hall. The Halls were proprietors of the small estate 
of Haugh-head to a late period. Henry Hall, probably 
the son of Hobby, who saved his goods from Cess- 
ford, was the friend of the covenanting Cargill. Hall 
was a great enemy to prelacy, and on that account 
suffered many hardships. In 1665 he was obliged to 
leave his estate of Haugh-head, and flee into the north 
of England, where he and Ker of Hayhope were en- 
gaged in a skirmish with Colonel Struthers, at Crook- 
ham. In the year 1666 he was taken in returning 
from Pentland, and along with others, imprisoned in 
the neighbouring Castle of Cessford, from which he 

* For the preservation of the stone and inscription the public are 
indebted to the Lady John Scott. The original stone had been broken, 
and her Ladyship in the course of 1854, caused it to be cemented 
together, and firmly fixed in a large block of stone, placed on the 
top of the mount. We trust the example set by this Noble Lady will 
be followed in the district. 


was released by the exertions of his relation, the Earl 
of Roxburgh. Fourteen years afterwards, he was 
found in the company of Cargill, and was killed while 
aiding his friend to escape. When he was taken a 
rude draft of a document called the Queensferry 
Paper was found in his pocket. After his death he 
was tried, found guilty, and forfeiture passed against 

The mount on which the stone monument stands is 
called Haugh-head Kipp or Heap, and is situated on the 
south bank of the Cayle between the turnpike road 
and the river, in the midst of beautiful scenery. The 
mount is planted with trees, and is itself a pictures- 
que object. 

The ruined Castles, such as Roxburgh, Jedburgh, 
Cessford, Clintwood, Hermitage, and Home, form 
another class of antiquities, which will be found treat- 
ed in a subsequent Chapter, along with the numerous 
Peels and Forts — the abodes of the border chivalry — 
which formerly studded the border land. 

• Woodrow, vol. ii. p. 134. Crookshanks' History of the Church 
of Scotland, Vol. 1, p. 224. Vol. 11, p. 49, 210. New Statistical 
v^nunt of the Parish of Eckford. 


1. — Note to page 17. — The annual fall of rain from the 
observation of IS years, taken at Makerston, is 26£ inches. 
The direction of the wind is mostly from S. W., and the 
force of it is also greatest from the S. W. The following 
table shows the number of times (being the mean of four 
years) that the wind blew from eight points of the compass. 




From N 

..800 times 

N 711 

" N. E. . 

.1670 " .. .. 

N.E 722 

" E 

..431 « 

E 717 

« S. E... 

....330 « .... 

S. E 163 

" S 

.108* « 

S 749 

« s. w.. 

.4212 " .... 

S. VV 3411 

■" w\... 

.1198 " 

W 990 

" N. \V. 

...932 " 

N. W 689 

2 — Note to page 39. — The tributary alluded to at the 
top of page 39, as joining the Cayle from the south at 
Hownamkirk, is named Capehopeburn. It has two princi- 
pal sources, — one takes its rise in Cherehope and descends 
to Mainside, where it meets the other which flows down 
Cuthbertshope by Littlecleuch, Callahope, and Greenhill. 
The united streams then run by Cockerton to Hownam. 
The velocity of the waters is about one mile in twenty-six 
minutes, being about a minute less than Cayle takes to run 
the same distance. Where the stream passes Greenhill its 
channel is about 600 feet above the level of the sea. Both 
Cayle and Capehope, are excellent trouting streams. The 
Parr which were once plentiful in these streams are now 
said to be extinct. Capehope is supposed to have been the 
residence of Rob the Ranter, the celebrated piper in the old 
song of "Maggie Lauder." The belief seems to receive 
confirmation from the words of that much relished song. 

" Maggie quo' he, and by my bags 
I'm fidgin' fain to see thee ; 



Sit down by me, my bonnie bird, 

In troth I winna steer thee ; 
For I'm a piper to my trade, 

My name is Rob the Ranter ; 
The lasses loup as they were daft, 

When I blaw' up my chanter. 
Piper, quo' Meg, ha'e ye your bags ? 

Or is your drone in order ? 
If ye be Rob, I've heard o' you, 

Live ye upo' the border ? 
The lasses a', baith far and near 

Have heard o' Rob the Ranter, 
I'll shake my foot wi' right gude will, 

Giff you'll blaw up your chanter." 

Tradition at all events fixes the Ranter's dwelling on 
the margin of the Capehope. 

3. — Notes to page 45.— -(1 .) It is said in the text that 
one of the slogans of the border land was "A Hen woody ! 
A Hen woody !" and which when raised made every foot 
hasten to the Henwood. It is thought that the name of 
Henwood is descriptive of an old forest which existed at 
that day, and to which the warriors of the district hastened 
on the alarm being raised. Hen signifies old, and Henwood 
in the language of the present day is, " The Old Wood.'* 
It is Curious that the woods lying between Jedburgh and 
Oxnam should still bear the ancient name. The Old Wood 
is applied to the locality at the Wildcatgate, and the head 
of Howdenburn. It is probable that the Henwood extended 
from Oxnam to the Jed 

(2.) Ousenam Water had formed the theme of the poet's 
lay, long before the days of Leyden. In the ballad illustra- 
tive of the history of Rattling Roaring Willie, " the jovial 
harper," " the links of Ousenam," are mentioned. The 
harper having killed in a sudden quarrel the minstrel of 
the Rule while they were engaged in a drinking bout at 
Newmills on Teviot, and retired for safety to the links of 
Ousenam, was traced by Elliot of Stobs, and Scott of Fal- 
nash, and by them carried prisoner to Jedburgh, where he 
was tried and executed. According to the ballad : — 
" They follow'd him a' the way, 
They sought him up and down, 


In the links of Ousenam water, 
They found him sleeping sound. 

* * * * 

The lasses of Ousenam water, 

Are rugging and riving their hair, 
And a' for the sake of Willie, 

His beauty was so fair. 
His beauty was so fair, 

And comely for to see." 

The " links of Ousenam' ' must refer to the stream which 
is above the Swinsides. The old name of these places seem to 
have been Swynsets. In that part of its course it ouses 
through a flat marshy track, in such a zig-zag way as to 
form numberless links, and amongst which the harper is 
said to have taken refuge. As mentioned in the text the 
name of the stream has been imposed by the Anglo Saxons, 
and no doubt from the way in which its waters oused through 
this level track. Many of these links have been destroyed 
by cuttings with the view of giving the stream a shorter 

4. — Note to page 47. — Swynhope is the ancient name of 
the locality down which the rivulet called Blackburn wimples 
to the Jed. A farm onstead still bears the name of Swinnie, 
a corruption of Swynhope. This place is thought to be the 
original territory of the family <f Kerr. It is now the pro- 
perty of Lord Douglas. Kerr the hunter of Swynhope is a 
witness to one of the charters of king David. 

5. — Note to page 55. — The sudden and great floods of 
the Slitrig may be acoounted for by the fact, that it acts as 
a principal drain to a very extensive mountain district, and 
which in spates send down from every point gushing 
streams into the channel of the Slitrig, which is soon rilled 
to overflowing. 

6. — Note to page 56, — In the text the rivers Allan or 
Alwyn, one of which runs into the Tweed near Melrose, and 
the other into the Teviot about four or five miles above 
Hawick, are said to derive ffieir names from the brightness 
of their waters ; but it is possible that they owe their names 
to their position in the country, and not to the purity of 


their waters. A/Inn may be interpreted as describing any 
thing at a distance or on the outside. 

7- — Note to page 77 — Bridges of stone and lime for the 
passage of carts and waggons, were built during the early 
part of the 1 3th century. Ettrick bridge existed previous 
to the days of Alexander II, and we find about the same 
time Thomas de Gordon granting leave to the monks of 
Kelso, to build a bridge of s*one over Blakelaw burn. 

8 Note to page 173 — This mountain is situated between 

Yetholm and Wooler, and is one of the Cheviot range. It 
is of a conical form, and rises to the height of nearly 2000 
feet. Its summit is almost level and nearly surrounded with 
the remains of a wall built without mortar of large whin 
stones. Hutchinson, in his view of Northumberland, vol. I, 
gives a drawing of the summit of the mountain, and de- 
scribes the wall as enclosing an area of one thousand yards 
in circumference, with an entrance on the south side. The 
breadth of the ruins of the wall is on an average about eight 
yards. The quantity of stones is immense. In the area on 
the top of the hill there is no appearance of any rocks or 
quarries from which the stones could have been obtained, 
and as the mountain is inaccessible to carriages or beasts of 
burden, they must have been carried by human hands a con- 
siderable distance. At the east end of the area the ground 
rises some feet from the level plain, and which is surroun- 
ded by the remains of another wall of 180 yards in circum- 
ference with a ditch within. In the middle of this inner area 
is a cairn of stones, the centre of which is hollowed like a 
bason, 6 yards from brim to brim. On the turf and- soil 
for a little depth being removed the stones were found to be 
reduced to a sort of calx, and everywhere retaining a strong 
impression of fire. On many parts of the side of the moun- 
tain are the remains of circular buildings. On the north 
side of the mountain are the remains of a forest or extensive 
grove of oaks. Mr Hutchinson and others think it was a 
place for worship, and from its affording a prospect of fully 20 
miles northward, and over Northumberland for many miles 
to the south-east, the sacrificial rites might be discerned from 


many points of view. The wall enclosing the whole crown 
of the mountain includes 16^ acres, — Hutchinson, vol. I, p. 
246, et seq. While there can be little doubt that on the 
summit of this mountain Baal was worshipped, there is also 
every reason for believing that the locality was the site of 
a British town. 

9. — Note to page 1 80. — One of these tumuli or moats as they 
are popularly called, is situated on the estate of Buchtrigg, 
in the land of the Ottadini. The map at page 165 exhibits 
all the British forts, towns, druidical remains &c, in the 
district, and to which we now refer. 

10 — Note to page 1 87. — In addition to the weapons of war 
shown on the plate, it may be mentioned that a very fine 
copper axe was found last year, by a person engaged in 
draining on the estate of Pinnacle. It is in a good state of 
preservation, the ornamental parts being very distinct. It 
seems to have been little, if at all, used. 

11. — Note to page 221. — On a re-examination of the 
ground in which Agricola's camp is situated, with the sheets 
in our hand, we discovered a slight inaccuracy into which we 
have been led in the description of the camp, and which we 
shall here correct. With the exception of the northeast end 
of the vallum and fosse, which have been converted into a 
fence for a plantation, the camp remains nearly in the 
same state as when surveyed by General Roy, above a 
hundred years ago. It is an oblong square of about 600 
yards long, and of nearly 400 yards broad. On the west 
the vallum and fosse with its two gates and traverses are very 
distinct. The notrh gate and traverse is also very entire, 
and the traverse to the south entrance is also plainly seen. 
The north gate of the east side of the camp with its traverse 
is also apparent. All the southeast angle has been nearly 
destroyed. Several of the outworks are distinctly seen. A 
camp of the same form, but of smaller dimensions, have been 
placed within the large camp on the southeast side. Part 
of the vallum and fosse of the original camp on the east and 
south, being the wall and ditch of the smaller camp. It has 
been about 1000 feet long, and nearly 500 feet broad, with 
two entrances on each side, and one at each end. 


As said in the text the causeway runs up the east side of 
the camp, is nearly 30 feet wide, and very entire. The 
crown of the causeway as laid by the hands of the Roman 
soldier, is seen in many places firmly fixed, although it has 
lain in its bed for nearly 1800 years. 

On the east side of the road opposite the centre of the 
camp stands Street-house, now erroneously called Towford. 
Towford stood upon the south bank of the Cayle, exactly on 
the spot where the causeway was intersected by the old 
road, running up the south bank of the Cayle. The founda- 
tions of the nouses may yet be traced. The place now called 
Street-house is comparatively modern. It did not exist in 
1774. It first appears in a small map published with the 
minister's of Oxnam account of the parish in Sir John Sin- 
clair's statistical account of Scotland, published in 1791. It 
is to be regretted that names of places are so misapplied. 
All the Roman ways, stations, and camps, between the Sol- 
way and Forth, will be found accurately noted in the British 
and Roman map, page 165. 

1 2. — Note to page 253. — The King's way from Annandale 
to Roxburgh appears in charters during the reign of Alexan- 
der II. It is mentioned in a charter of that period of John 
De Norman ville, Lord of Maxton, in favour of the Monks of 
Melrose, of certain portions of his land in the parish of 
" Makiston." 

1 3. — Note to page 261. — It is thought that the name of 
Malton Walls, at Ancrum, is derived from the British " Wal" 
and the Saxon " Ton" signifying the Town at the Walls, 
or rather the Walled Town or dwelling, or it may be read 
along with Alnecrumb, as describing " the town or hamlet 
at the walls on the bend of the Alne." 

Mklrose Abbey — In the reign of William the Lion, 
Robert De Berkley and Cecilia his wife bestowed on the 
Monks of Melrose, inter alia, " stone from his quarry of 
Alwerdine, sufficient to erect the buildings of the house of 
Melros." Lib. de Melros, pp. 7779.